Transrapid is a German
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

High-speed rail
High-speed rail is a type of passenger rail transport that operates significantly faster than the normal speed of rail traffic. Specific definitions by the European Union include for upgraded track and or faster for new track, whilst in the United States, the U.S...

 monorail train
A monorail is a rail-based transportation system based on a single rail, which acts as its sole support and its guideway. The term is also used variously to describe the beam of the system, or the vehicles traveling on such a beam or track...

 using magnetic levitation
Maglev train
Maglev , is a system of transportation that uses magnetic levitation to suspend, guide and propel vehicles from magnets rather than using mechanical methods, such as friction-reliant wheels, axles and bearings...

. Based on a patent
A patent is a form of intellectual property. It consists of a set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or their assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for the public disclosure of an invention....

 from 1934, planning of the Transrapid system started in 1969. The test facility for the system in Emsland
Landkreis Emsland is a district in Lower Saxony, Germany named after the river Ems. It is bounded by the districts of Leer, Cloppenburg and Osnabrück, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia , the district of Bentheim and the Netherlands .- History :For a long time the region of the Emsland was...

, Germany was completed in 1987. In 1991, the technical readiness for application was approved by the Deutsche Bundesbahn
Deutsche Bundesbahn
The Deutsche Bundesbahn or DB was formed as the state railway of the newly established Federal Republic of Germany on September 7, 1949 as a successor of the Deutsche Reichsbahn-Gesellschaft '...

 in cooperation with renowned universities.

Its current application-ready version, the Transrapid 09, has been designed for 500 km/h (311 mph) cruising speed and allows acceleration and deceleration of approx. 1 m/s2.

In 2004, the first commercial implementation was completed. The Shanghai Maglev Train
Shanghai Maglev Train
The Shanghai Maglev Train or Shanghai Transrapid is a magnetic levitation train, or maglev line that operates in Shanghai, China. It is the first commercially operated high-speed magnetic levitation line in the world...

 connects the rapid transit network 30.5 km (18.95 mi) to the Shanghai Pudong International Airport
Shanghai Pudong International Airport
Shanghai Pudong International Airport is the primary international airport serving Shanghai, China, and a major aviation hub in Asia. The other major airport in Shanghai, Hongqiao, mainly serves domestic flights...

. The Transrapid system has not yet been deployed on a long-distance intercity line.

The system is developed and marketed by Transrapid International, a joint venture of Siemens
Siemens may refer toSiemens, a German family name carried by generations of telecommunications industrialists, including:* Werner von Siemens , inventor, founder of Siemens AG...

 and ThyssenKrupp
ThyssenKrupp AG is a German multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Duisburg Essen, Germany. The corporation consists of 670 companies worldwide. While ThyssenKrupp is one of the world's largest steel producers, the company also provides components and systems for the automotive...



See also: Technology in the Magnetic levitation train article.


The super-speed Transrapid maglev system has no wheels, no axles, no gear transmissions, no steel rails, and no overhead electrical pantographs
Pantograph (rail)
A pantograph for rail lines is a hinged electric-rod device that collects electric current from overhead lines for electric trains or trams. The pantograph typically connects to a one-wire line, with the track acting as the ground wire...

. The maglev vehicles do not roll on wheels; rather, they hover above the track guideway, using the attractive magnetic force between two linear arrays of electromagnetic coils
Electromagnetic suspension
Electromagnetic Suspension is the magnetic levitation of an object achieved by constantly altering the strength of a magnetic field produced by electromagnets using a feedback loop...

—one side of the coil on the vehicle, the other side in the track guideway—which function together as a magnetic dipole. In other words, during levitation and travelling operation, the Transrapid maglev vehicle floats on a frictionless magnetic cushion with no physical contact whatsoever to the track guideway. On-board vehicle electronic systems measure the dipole gap distance 100,000 times per second, to guarantee the clearance between the coils attached to the underside of the guideway and the magnetic portion of the vehicle wrapped around the guideway edges. With this precise, constantly updated electronic control, the dipole gap remains nominally constant at 10 mm (0.39 inches). When levitated, the maglev vehicle has about 15 centimetres (5.91 inches) of clearance above the guideway surface.

Remarkably, the Transrapid maglev vehicle requires less power to hover than it needs to run its on-board air conditioning equipment.

In Transrapid vehicle versions TR08 and earlier, when travelling at speeds below 80 km/h (50 mph), the vehicle levitation system and all on-board vehicle electronics were supplied power through physical connections to the track guideway. At vehicle speeds above 80 km/h, all on-board power was supplied by recovered harmonic oscillation of the magnetic field
Magnetic field
A magnetic field is a mathematical description of the magnetic influence of electric currents and magnetic materials. The magnetic field at any given point is specified by both a direction and a magnitude ; as such it is a vector field.Technically, a magnetic field is a pseudo vector;...

s created from the track’s linear stator (since these oscillations are parasitic, they cannot be used for vehicle propulsion). A new energy transmission system has since been developed for Transrapid vehicle version TR09, in which the maglev vehicle now requires no physical contact with the track guideway for these on-board power needs, regardless of the maglev vehicle speed. This feature helps to reduce on-going maintenance and operational costs.

In case of power failure of the track’s propulsion system, the maglev vehicle can use on-board backup batteries to temporarily power the vehicle's levitation system.


The Transrapid maglev system uses a synchronous longstator linear motor
Linear motor
A linear motor is an electric motor that has had its stator and rotor "unrolled" so that instead of producing a torque it produces a linear force along its length...

 for both propulsion and braking. It works like a rotating electric motor
Electric motor
An electric motor converts electrical energy into mechanical energy.Most electric motors operate through the interaction of magnetic fields and current-carrying conductors to generate force...

 whose stator
The stator is the stationary part of a rotor system, found in an electric generator, electric motor and biological rotors.Depending on the configuration of a spinning electromotive device the stator may act as the field magnet, interacting with the armature to create motion, or it may act as the...

 is "unrolled" along the underside of the guideway, so that instead of producing a torque
Torque, moment or moment of force , is the tendency of a force to rotate an object about an axis, fulcrum, or pivot. Just as a force is a push or a pull, a torque can be thought of as a twist....

A rotation is a circular movement of an object around a center of rotation. A three-dimensional object rotates always around an imaginary line called a rotation axis. If the axis is within the body, and passes through its center of mass the body is said to rotate upon itself, or spin. A rotation...

) it produces a linear force along its length. The electromagnets in the maglev vehicle that lift it also work as the equivalent of the excitation portion (rotor
Rotor (electric)
The rotor is the non-stationary part of a rotary electric motor, electric generator or alternator, which rotates because the wires and magnetic field of the motor are arranged so that a torque is developed about the rotor's axis. In some designs, the rotor can act to serve as the motor's armature,...

) of this linear electric motor. Since the magnetic travelling field only works in one direction, if there were to be several maglev trains on a given track section, they would all travel in the same direction—reducing the possibility of collision between the moving trains.

Energy requirements

The normal energy consumption of the Transrapid is approximately 50–100 kW
kw or KW may refer to:* Kuwait, ISO 3166-1 country code** .kw, the country code top level domain for Kuwait* Kilowatt* Self-ionization of water Kw* Cornish language's ISO 639 code* Kitchener–Waterloo, Ontario, Canada...

 per section for levitation and travel, and vehicle control. The drag coefficient
Drag coefficient
In fluid dynamics, the drag coefficient is a dimensionless quantity that is used to quantify the drag or resistance of an object in a fluid environment such as air or water. It is used in the drag equation, where a lower drag coefficient indicates the object will have less aerodynamic or...

 of the Transrapid is about 0.26. The air resistance of the vehicle, which has a frontal cross section of 16 m² (19 sq yd), requires a power consumption, at 400 km/h (249 mph) or 111 m/s cruising speed, given by the following formula:

Power consumption compares favourably with other high-speed rail systems. With an efficiency of 0.85, the power required is about 4.2 MW. Energy consumption for levitation and guidance purposes equates to approximately 1.7 kW/t. As the propulsion system is also capable of functioning in reverse, energy is transferred back into the electricity network during braking. An exception to this is when an emergency stop is performed using the emergency landing skids beneath the vehicle, although this method of bringing the vehicle to a stop is intended only as a last resort should it be impossible or undesirable to keep the vehicle levitating on back-up power to a natural halt.

Market segment, ecological impact and historical parallels

Compared to classical railway lines, Transrapid allows higher speeds and gradients with lower wear and tear and even lower energy consumption and maintenance needs. The Transrapid track is more flexible, and therefore more easily adapted to specific geographical circumstances than a classical train system. Cargo is restricted to a maximum payload of 15 tonnes (14.8 LT) per car. Transrapids allows maximum speeds of 550 km/h (342 mph), placing it between conventional High Speed Trains (200 –) and Air Traffic (720 –). The magnetic field generator, an important part of the engine being a part of the track, limits the system capacity.

From a competition standpoint, the Transrapid is a proprietary solution. The track being a part of the engine, only the single-source Transrapid vehicles and infrastructure can be operated. There is no multisourcing foreseen concerning vehicles or the highly complicated crossings and switches. Unlike classical railways or other infrastructure networks (as jointly administrated by the Bundesnetzagentur in Germany) a Transrapid system does not allow any direct competition.

Ecological impact

The Transrapid itself is an electrically driven, clean, high-speed, high-capacity means of transport able to build up point-to-point passenger connections in geographically challenged surroundings. This has to be set in comparison with the impact on heritage and or landscape protection areas (compare Waldschlößchenbrücke). Any impact of emissions has to take into account the source of electrical energy. The reduced expense, noise and vibration of a people-only Transrapid versus a cargo train track is not directly comparable. The reuse of existing tracks and the interfacing with existing networks is limited. The Transrapid indirectly competes for resources, space and tracks in urban and city surroundings with classical urban transport systems and high speed trains.

Track Construction Cost

The fully elevated Shanghai Maglev was built for $US1.33 billion for 30.5 km including trains and stations. Thus the cost per km for dual track was $US43.6 million per km including trains and stations. This was the first ever commercial use of the technology. Since then conventional fast rail track has been mass-produced in China for between $US4.6 and $US30.8 million per km - mostly in rural areas. (See High-speed rail in China
High-speed rail in China
High-speed rail in China refers to any commercial train service in the China with an average speed of or higher. By that measure, China has the world's longest high-speed rail network with about of routes in service as of June 2011 including of rail lines with top speeds of...


In 2008 Transrapid Australia quoted the Victoria (Australia)
Victoria (Australia)
Victoria is the second most populous state in Australia. Geographically the smallest mainland state, Victoria is bordered by New South Wales, South Australia, and Tasmania on Boundary Islet to the north, west and south respectively....

 State Government $A34 million per km for dual track
.Transrapid quote to Victorian Government This assumed 50% of the track was at grade and 50% was elevated. In comparison the 47 km Regional Rail Link
Regional Rail Link
The Regional Rail Link is a 47.5 km railway track currently under construction through the western suburbs of Melbourne from Southern Cross Station, running through Sunshine, Tarneit and meeting the Geelong Line at West Werribee...

 to be built in Victoria will cost $A5 billion, or $A105 million per km including two stations.

From the above it is not possible to say whether Transrapid or Conventional fast rail track would be cheaper for a particular application.

In comparing costs it should be noted that the higher operating speed of the maglev system will result in more passengers being delivered over the same distance in a set time. The ability of the Transrapid system to handle tighter turns and higher gradients could heavily influence a cost comparison for a particular project.

Train Purchase Cost

In 2008 Transrapid Australia quoted the Victoria (Australia)
Victoria (Australia)
Victoria is the second most populous state in Australia. Geographically the smallest mainland state, Victoria is bordered by New South Wales, South Australia, and Tasmania on Boundary Islet to the north, west and south respectively....

 State Government between $A16.5 million (commuter) and $A20 million (luxury) per trains section or carriage
. Due to the 3.7 metre width of the Transrapid carriages they have a floor area of about 92 square metres (110 sq yd). This works out at between $A179,000 and $A217,000 per square meter.

In comparison InterCityExpress
The Intercity-Express or ICE is a system of high-speed trains predominantly running in Germany and neighbouring countries. It is the highest service category offered by DB Fernverkehr and is the flagship of Deutsche Bahn...

 which are also built by Siemens
Siemens may refer toSiemens, a German family name carried by generations of telecommunications industrialists, including:* Werner von Siemens , inventor, founder of Siemens AG...

 cost about $A6 million per carriage. Due to the 2.9 metre width of the ICE carriages they have a floor area of about 72 square metres (86 sq yd). This works out at about $A83,000 per square meter.

This shows Transrapid train sets are likely to cost over twice as much as ICE 3 conventional fast rail train sets at this time. However each Transrapid train set is more than twice as efficient due to their faster operating speed and acceleration according to UK Ultraspeed
UK Ultraspeed
The UK Ultraspeed line is a proposed magnetic-levitation train line between London and Glasgow, linking Edinburgh, Birmingham, Manchester and Newcastle, and with a spur to Liverpool.-Proposal:...

. In their case study only 44% as many Transrapid train sets are needed to deliver the same amount of passengers as conventional high-speed trains.

Operational Cost

Transrapid claims Transrapid Website - Economic Efficiency their system has very low maintenance costs compared to conventional high speed rail systems due to the non-contact nature of their system.


Critical voices, such as Rod Eddington
Rod Eddington
Sir Roderick Ian Eddington is an Australian businessman. He is currently chair of the government body Infrastructure Australia, a director of News Corporation, continuing his long association with that company, and has served in other senior positions including as former CEO of British...

Eddington Study refer to recent developments
A tram-train is a light-rail public transport system where trams run both on an urban tramway network and on main-line railways to combine the tram's flexibility and availability and the train's greater speed...

 of railway
High-speed rail
High-speed rail is a type of passenger rail transport that operates significantly faster than the normal speed of rail traffic. Specific definitions by the European Union include for upgraded track and or faster for new track, whilst in the United States, the U.S...

 and other competing
Low-cost carrier
A low-cost carrier or low-cost airline is an airline that generally has lower fares and fewer comforts...

 technologies and draw parallels between Transrapid and previous high technology hypes without broad market impact outside niche applications.

High-speed competition

The Transrapid originated as one of several competing concepts for new land-based high-speed public transportation developed in Germany. In this competition, the Transrapid primarily competed with the InterCityExpress
The Intercity-Express or ICE is a system of high-speed trains predominantly running in Germany and neighbouring countries. It is the highest service category offered by DB Fernverkehr and is the flagship of Deutsche Bahn...

 (ICE), a high-speed rail system based on "traditional" railway technology. The ICE “won” in that it was adopted nationwide in Germany, however Transrapid development continued. A number of studies for possible Transrapid lines were conducted even after the ICE had entered service, including a long-distance line from Hamburg to Berlin. The most recent German Transrapid line project, and the one that came closest to being built, having previously been approved, was an airport connection track from Munich Railway Station to Munich Airport, which was eventually cancelled in early 2008 due to dramatically increasing cost projections. To date, the Emsland test facility
Emsland test facility
The Emsland Transrapid Test Facility is a testing site for Transrapid maglev trains in Emsland, Germany. The single track line runs between Dörpen and Lathen. Turning loops are at each end...

 remains the only existing Transrapid track in Germany.

Munich link

As noted above, a 40 kilometres (24.9 mi) project between Munich Central Station
München Hauptbahnhof
Munich Central Station is the main railway station of the city of Munich in Germany. It is one of the three long distance train stations in Munich, the others being München-Pasing and München Ost. The station sees about 350,000 passengers a day, which puts it on par with other large stations in...

 and Munich Airport was close to being built, but was cancelled on 27 March 2008, when the German government scrapped the Transrapid project because of a massive overrun in costs. Prior to the cancellation, the Bavarian governing party CSU
Christian Social Union of Bavaria
The Christian Social Union in Bavaria is a Christian democratic and conservative political party in Germany. It operates only in the state of Bavaria, while its sister party, the Christian Democratic Union , operates in the other 15 states of Germany...

 faced internal and local resistance, in particular from communities along the proposed route
NIMBY or Nimby is an acronym for the phrase "not in my back yard". The term is used pejoratively to describe opposition by residents to a proposal for a new development close to them. Opposing residents themselves are sometimes called Nimbies...

. The CSU had planned to position Transrapid as an example of future technology and innovation in Bavaria. German federal transport minister Wolfgang Tiefensee
Wolfgang Tiefensee
Wolfgang Tiefensee is a German SPD politician. He was the Federal Minister for Transport, Building and Urban Development in the grand coalition cabinet led by Angela Merkel since November 22, 2005....

 announced the decision after a crisis meeting in Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 at which industry representatives reportedly revealed that costs had risen from €1.85 billion to well over €3 billion ($4.7 billion). This rise in projected costs, however was mostly due to the cost estimates of the construction of the tunnel and related civil engineering after the designated operator Deutsche Bahn AG shifted most of the risk-sharing towards its subcontractors - and not due to the cost of the maglev technology.


The only commercial implementation so far was in the year 2000, when the Chinese
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 government ordered a Transrapid track to be built connecting Shanghai
Shanghai is the largest city by population in China and the largest city proper in the world. It is one of the four province-level municipalities in the People's Republic of China, with a total population of over 23 million as of 2010...

 to its Pudong International Airport.
It was inaugurated in 2002 and regular daily trips started in March 2004. The travel speed is 430 km/h (267 mph), which the Maglev train
Maglev train
Maglev , is a system of transportation that uses magnetic levitation to suspend, guide and propel vehicles from magnets rather than using mechanical methods, such as friction-reliant wheels, axles and bearings...

 maintains for 50 seconds as the short, 30.5 km (18.95 mi), track only allows the cruising speed to be maintained for a short time before deceleration must begin. The average number of riders per day (14 hours of operation) is about 7,500, while the maximum seating capacity
Seating capacity
Seating capacity refers to the number of people who can be seated in a specific space, both in terms of the physical space available, and in terms of limitations set by law. Seating capacity can be used in the description of anything ranging from an automobile that seats two to a stadium that seats...

 per train is 440. A second class ticket price of about 50 RMB ( Renminbi
The Renminbi is the official currency of the People's Republic of China . Renminbi is legal tender in mainland China, but not in Hong Kong or Macau. It is issued by the People's Bank of China, the monetary authority of the PRC...

) (about 5 Euro
The euro is the official currency of the eurozone: 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union. It is also the currency used by the Institutions of the European Union. The eurozone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,...

) is four times the price of the Airport Bus and ten times more expensive than a comparable Underground ticket, half cheaper compared to the City Airport Train
City Airport Train
The City Airport Train connects the Vienna International Airport directly to the Wien Mitte railway station close to the Vienna city center daily from 5:38 am to 11:35 pm.- Basic facts :...

 from downtown Vienna to its airport though (10 Euro).

The project was sponsored by the German Hermes
Hermes cover
Hermes cover is a common way of referring to an export credit guarantee by the German Federal Government. It is also referred to as a Hermes Deckung in German....

 loans with DM 200 million. The total cost is believed to be $1.33 billion.
A planned extension of the line to Shanghai Hongqiao Airport
Shanghai Hongqiao Airport
Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport is the main domestic airport serving Shanghai, China, with limited international flights. It is located near the town of Hongqiao in Changning District, 13 km west of downtown, and is closer to the city center than Pudong Airport, Shanghai's main...

 (35 km (22 mi)) and onward to the city of Hangzhou
Hangzhou , formerly transliterated as Hangchow, is the capital and largest city of Zhejiang Province in Eastern China. Governed as a sub-provincial city, and as of 2010, its entire administrative division or prefecture had a registered population of 8.7 million people...

 (175 km (109 mi)) has been repeatedly delayed. Originally planned to be ready for Expo 2010
Expo 2010
Expo 2010, officially Expo 2010 Shanghai China was held on both banks of the Huangpu River in the city of Shanghai, China, from May 1 to October 31, 2010. It was a major World Expo in the tradition of international fairs and expositions, the first since 1992...

, final approval was granted on 18 August 2008, and construction is now scheduled to start in 2010 for completion in 2014.


In 2007 Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 and a German company reached an agreement on using maglev trains to link the cities of Tehran
Tehran , sometimes spelled Teheran, is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With an estimated population of 8,429,807; it is also Iran's largest urban area and city, one of the largest cities in Western Asia, and is the world's 19th largest city.In the 20th century, Tehran was subject to...

 and Mashhad
Mashhad , is the second largest city in Iran and one of the holiest cities in the Shia Muslim world. It is also the only major Iranian city with an Arabic name. It is located east of Tehran, at the center of the Razavi Khorasan Province close to the borders of Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. Its...

. The agreement was signed at the Mashhad International Fair site between Iranian Ministry of Roads and Transportation and the German company. Maglev trains can reduce the 900 km (559 mi) travel time between Tehran and Mashhad to about 2.5 hours. Munich-based Schlegel Consulting Engineers said they had signed the contract with the Iranian ministry of transport and the governor of Mashad. "We have been mandated to lead a German consortium in this project," a spokesman said. "We are in a preparatory phase." The next step will be assemble a consortium, a process that is expected to take place "in the coming months," the spokesman said. The project could be worth between 10 billion and 12 billion euros, the Schlegel spokesman said. Siemens and ThyssenKrupp, the developers of a high-speed maglev train, called the Transrapid, both said they were unaware of the proposal. The Schlegel spokesman said Siemens and ThyssenKrupp were currently "not involved" in the consortium.

United Kingdom

The Transrapid was considered by the UK government for a 500 km/h (311 mph) link between London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 and Glasgow
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands...

, via Birmingham, Liverpool/Manchester, Leeds, Teesside, Newcastle and Edinburgh, but was rejected in July 2007.


The SwissRapide AG in co-operation with the SwissRapide Consortium are developing and promoting an above-ground magnetic levitation (Maglev) monorail system, based on the Transrapid technology. The first projects planned are the lines Berne
The city of Bern or Berne is the Bundesstadt of Switzerland, and, with a population of , the fourth most populous city in Switzerland. The Bern agglomeration, which includes 43 municipalities, has a population of 349,000. The metropolitan area had a population of 660,000 in 2000...

 – Zurich
Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zurich. It is located in central Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zurich...

, Lausanne
Lausanne is a city in Romandy, the French-speaking part of Switzerland, and is the capital of the canton of Vaud. The seat of the district of Lausanne, the city is situated on the shores of Lake Geneva . It faces the French town of Évian-les-Bains, with the Jura mountains to its north-west...

 – Geneva
Geneva In the national languages of Switzerland the city is known as Genf , Ginevra and Genevra is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland...

 as well as Zurich – Winterthur
Winterthur is a city in the canton of Zurich in northern Switzerland. It has the country's sixth largest population with an estimate of more than 100,000 people. In the local dialect and by its inhabitants, it is usually abbreviated to Winti...


Projects elsewhere

Several European projects have been studied, but so far classical rail has been the preferred solution.

There have been several evaluations conducted in the USA. Again, so far, classical railway remains the suggested solution. No actual project has been started yet.

There have been initial talks for a project in the Persian Gulf region, connecting Bahrain – Qatar – UAE.

September 2006 accident

On 22 September 2006, a Transrapid train collided with a maintenance vehicle at 170 km/h (106 mph) on the test track in Lathen. The maintenance vehicle destroyed the first section of the train, and came to rest on its roof. This was the first major accident involving a Transrapid train. The news media reported 23 fatalities and that several people were severely injured, these being the first fatalities on any maglev. The accident was caused by human error with the first train being allowed to leave the station before the maintenance vehicle had moved off the track. This situation could be avoided in a production environment by installing an automatic collision avoidance system.

SMT fire accident

On 11 August 2006, a Transrapid train running on Shanghai Maglev Line caught fire. The fire was quickly put out by Shanghai's firemen. It was reported that the vehicle's on-board batteries may have caused the fire.

Alleged theft of Transrapid technology

In April 2006, new announcements by Chinese officials planning on cutting maglev rail costs by a third have stirred some strong comments by various German officials and more diplomatic statements of concern from Transrapid officials. The Deutsche Welle reports that the China Daily quoted the State Council encouraging engineers to "learn and absorb foreign advanced technologies while making further innovations."

The China Aviation Industry Corporation said in their defence that the new Zhui Feng maglev train is not based or dependent on foreign technology. They claim it is not only a much lighter train, but also has a much more advanced design.

See also

For an overview of competitors to this system, see High-speed rail
High-speed rail
High-speed rail is a type of passenger rail transport that operates significantly faster than the normal speed of rail traffic. Specific definitions by the European Union include for upgraded track and or faster for new track, whilst in the United States, the U.S...

  • Aérotrain
    The Aérotrain was a Hovertrain developed in France from 1965 to 1977. The lead engineer was Jean Bertin.The goal of the Aérotrain was similar to that of the magnetic levitation train: to suspend the train above the tracks so the only resistance is that of air resistance...

  • JR-Maglev MLX01
    JR-Maglev is a magnetic levitation train system developed by the Central Japan Railway Company and Railway Technical Research Institute . JR-Maglev MLX01 is one of the latest designs of a series of Maglev trains in development in Japan since the 1970s...

  • Land speed record for railed vehicles
    Land speed record for railed vehicles
    Determination of the fastest rail vehicle in the world varies depending on the definition of "rail".Official absolute world record for conventional train is held by the French TGV...

  • Magnetic levitation train

External links

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