Did you ever see a train without any wheels? Did you ever think of using magnets to get around? Well, Robert Goddard and a few other scientists did. I'm going to tell you about their invention, the maglev train.
Maglev trains have come a long way. It all started with just a few trains in Germany and with one train in Japan. Now the idea has spread. There are some in America and many more places. There are many more in Japan and Germany. The fastest is the MLXOI. It has a world record speed of 344 m.p.h. (miles per hour) or 554 kilometers per hour.
While most trains have a driver, most of these don't. They can be controlled by a computer. Some computer controlled maglev's are used to get people around airports, state parks, and places like that.
Did you ever wonder how maglev's got so fast? It's because the trains hover over a track. The train cars are actually suspended in the air above a single track. They move forward using the repulsive and attractive forces of magnetism. There is no friction to slow the train cars down. Scientists are saying they could get up to 600 to 1000 m.p.h. (966 to 1609 kilometers per hour) in the future with the advance of technology, wow!
Now you know a lot about 'the trains of the future,' but I forgot to explain one thing. The word Maglev comes from MAGnetically LEVitated.
Balkwill, Richard. The Best Book of Trains. New York: Kingfisher, 1999.
Coiley, John. Train. New York: Dorling Kindersley, 1992.
Simon, Seymour. Seymour Simon's Book of Trains. Singapore: Harper Collin Publishers, 1997.
Permission to use photograph of Japanese maglev train outside from <http://www.gizmohighway.com/>:
Copyrighted image of magnet from "Microsoft Office Online" <http://office.microsoft.com/clipart/default.aspx?lc=en-us&cag=1> (October-March, 2004-2005). Clip art available only to licensed users for non-commercial purposes.
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