The suspension train, electronic and superconductive magnets: how the magic developed

The suspension train, electronic and superconductive magnets: how the magic developed

On 9 August, China conducted the first tests of the permanent magnet suspension line, the first large-scale prototype of the third track of such trains; the Red Railway Line, with a length of only 800 metres, was built in the Gangzhou district of Jiangxi province in southern China.

Maglev is a train that uses magnetic force to move, and the system pulls the passenger train away from the surface to avoid friction and pushes it forward. By means of magnetic suspension technology, the train moves along the guides that control its stability and speed.

Although magic technology has been developing for over 100 years, only Japan, China, and South Korea now have small commercial sections of such roads.

What's the specialty of the Chinese Maglion?

A picture of a train floating over a monorail at a small distance is usually found in the word of the maglev. China's development is quite different. The "Raruga" necklace line works on permanent magnets, while the train itself is under a guide rather than above it. The advantage of such a system is that there is no electricity required to levitate the train. If left alone, it will be suspended forever.

Unlike the conventional magnetic suspension path, which requires electromagnetics, the Rainbow line is based on rare earth metal alloys and creates magnetic fields with an induction of more than 1.2 TL. For conventional iron or ceramic magnets, it ranges from 0.5 to 1 TL for comparison purposes.

The materials used for the construction of the line are relatively cheap and the system does not require energy to maintain the vehicle's "fly" and the test site is designed for medium speed trains: the maximum design speed of the system is only 80 km/h. This is sufficient for intra-urban and suburban transport in densely populated areas.

The magnetic force used in the line design is sufficient to service a train consisting of two wagons, which can accommodate up to 88 persons, and the Chinese authorities report that if tested successfully, the system can be used as an express to the airport, on tourist routes and even as inland transport for small cities.

Electromagnetic suspension

The magnet technology on permanent magnets is the third direction of this mode of transport, and two other systems use electric systems.

In systems with electromagnetic suspension, the train floats above the steel rail by means of electromagnetics placed on the bottom of the convoy. At the bottom of the hull of such trains, the levers are fixed in the form of the letter "C", with the upper part of the lever attached to the vehicle and the lower inner edge containing magnets. The wheel passes between the inner and outer edges of the lever.

Weakness of this technology in large instability. Magnetic gravity changes inversely proportionally to the distance square. Even minor changes in the distance between magnets and rails have a strong effect on the pull and push force. So this system uses sophisticated systems to "return" the train to the right position. They constantly control and adjust the distance between magnets and rails.

It was through this technology that the first commercial magical was created, and it was made in 1984 in England and connected the airport and railway station in Birmingham, which ran to a speed of 42 km/h and operated on a section of a monorail with a length of only 600 m. The system lasted just over 10 years and was shut down in 1995 due to the obsolescence of technology and reliability problems.

The magnet on the magnetic suspension can operate not only at low speeds, but also at high speeds. For example, this is the technology used by the Shanghai Line trains. This system, launched in 2003, is the oldest magician in operation, and the first commercial high-speed train on magnetic levitation.

This route connects Shanghai airport to the local subway line and the train can carry 574 passengers, with a total speed of 7 minutes and 20 seconds. During this time, the convoy passes a distance of 30 km. It can disperse up to 300 km/h in just over 2 minutes, and the maximum normal working speed of 431 km/h is reached after 4 minutes.

Despite certain shortcomings, it is the magnetic suspension train technology that is the main system in most of the systems currently in operation, such as the Incheon Airport in South Korea and the Limo prefecture in Japan.

Electrodynamic suspension

Unlike the electromagnetic suspension, the train's electrodynamic suspension uses magnets that are installed not only on the train but also on the rail itself. In such a magician, superconductive magnets hang the wagon above the U-shaped concrete guide. Like normal magnets, these magnets are pushed away from each other when the overlapping poles are facing each other.

The magnets used are superconductive, which means that when cooled down to low temperatures, they can generate magnetic fields 10 times more powerful than conventional electromagnetics. These magnetic fields interact with simple metal loops installed in concrete walls of a guide magnet. They are made of conductive materials such as aluminium, and when a train magnetic field passes by, it generates an electrical current that forms another magnetic field.

The three types of hinge are mounted on a directional time frame for three important tasks. First, they create a field that forces the train to hang several cm above the guide. Second, they keep the convoy in a vertical position. Third, they move the train forward.

So far, no commercial train operating on this technology has been put into operation, but preliminary tests are under way in different countries. For example, the system is SCMaglev, a Japanese railway line that has a speed record for maglevs. In 2015, the company was able to disperse to 603 km/h.

The commercial operation of such trains is expected to begin in 2027 when they link Tokyo and Nagoya.

Although magnetic pillow trains have been developed for many decades, but have not yet become the dominant means of transportation, this technology is not worth burying. Such trains have a number of advantages over classical trains; they can develop higher speeds, consume less energy, and are less dependent on weather conditions such as snow or rain.

Many countries are looking at the possibilities of building their own maglev lines, and perhaps with the emergence of cheap and environmentally friendly technology of permanent magnets, these compositions will no longer be savage.

On the cover: L0 train for SCMaglev. Image: Saruno Hirobano, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons