A train that travels faster than a speeding bullet? A train, which makes absolutely no noise? Magnetic Levitation Trains, also known as MagLev Trains are beginning to run all around the world. Currently in Germany, Japan and coming to the US soon!
Manned trains in Germany are traveling up to 271 miles per hour. Unmanned trains in Japan are traveling
up to 323 miles per hour!
In the late sixties two Americans were given the patient on the design of a MagLev Train. But lack of funding in the mid seventies led to the Germans and Japanese advancements. It was not until 1991 that the United States began studying MagLev Trains once again.
MagLev's are run on the properties of magnetism. The only power needed is that required to get the train to the desired speed. With no friction on the guide ways the only resistant is that of the air.
Because some of the prototypes in Japan lift the trains more than four inches off the guide way (tracks).
A second set of magnets is needed on each side of the train to help stabilize it. But these magnets would have to run the entire length of the guide way, and the super conducting electromagnets are extremely expensive and hard to make so this begins to form a problem and that is why only a select few Maglev Trains have been built.