Maglev Quicklinks

See link to article,  below, for details

News- 2005-2018:

Enthusiam for maglev train between D.C. and Baltimore mounts - as does opposition,1-6-18

China's planned supersonic maglev transport in evacuated tubes, 9-6-17

Beijing's first maglev train goes into trian operation, set to open to public end of 2017, 8-11-17

New generation medium-low speed maglev train completes 120 km/h speed test in China,8-9-17

Conference announcement: Maglev 2018, Sept. 5-7, St. Peterburg, Russia, 7-30-17

Medium to low-speed Chinese maglev trains to be delivered soon for domestic applications, 6-15-17

Japan moves forward on high speed maglev project, route mostly in tunnels, 01-05-17

Beijing's 1st Maglev Line S1 to begin operations in 2017, 12-26-16

China to develop worlds fastest maglev train by 2020, capable of 600 kph, 11-29-16

Link to the program for Maglev 2016, Berlin, Sept 23-25, 08-16-16

Changsha Maglev Express Train carriers 560,000 passengers during 3-month trial, 08-12-16

Expansion of high speed maglev trains in India planned, 07/15/16

 Operational maglev systems: Its time to rethink coventional railways, 05-18-16

23rd International Conference: Maglev Solutions for People, Cities and Regions, Berlin, Sept. 23-25,  02-16-16

South Korea opens new maglev train for public service to the airport, 02-02-16

A Foundational Break Through for Mobility- includes maglev  component, 11/02/15

Korean maglev train now undergoing final testing prior to being opened for public service, 3/22/15

Florida DOT pursues Orlando to I-Drive train route, 12/17/2014

Canadian maglev system aiming for network switching capability, 9/23/14

Korean Rotem maglev system makes sale to St. Petersburg, Russia. 7/17/14

Korean maglev train begins testing, 7/11/2014     (see the video in English)

SkyTran signs contract for pilot project in Tel Aviv, Israel, 7/7/2014

Link to article about Korean maglev installation at Incheon Airport in S. Korea, 5/17/2014

Link to article about Chinese maglev trains for Beijing, 2/19/2014

Link to article about Korean maglev application in St. Petersburg, Russia, 2/16/2014

Link to: Final Report: MagneMotion Urban Maglev Demo project at Old Dominion University,7/28/2013

Central Japan Railway Co. unveils new high speed maglev, 6/3/2013

Beijing's 1st urban maglev train to start construction, 2/23/13

International  Maglev Board website, 1/13/2013

Chinese urban maglev applications being planned, 10/24/12

Korean maglev project at Incheon International Airport nearing completion, 7/12/2012

New book published: The Fight for Maglev, by James Powell and Gordon Danby, 3/17/2012

Links to Japanese and Korean urban maglev information and videos, 1/15/2012

Link to a paper titled The MaglevTube Puckpodcar for mass urban transportation, from South Africa, 10/24/2011

Link to keynote presentation at Maglev 2011 conference in Korea: Status of Maglev Projects in the US, by Larry Blow, 10/22/2011

Link to updated website for Magne-Force LEVX system, 9/16/2011

Link to Specifications for the Korean Urban Maglev system , 9/2/2011

Link to the North American Maglev Transport Institute website, 2/20/2011

Chinese working on 600 mph maglev in an evacuated tube,  2/3/11

Slide format - Dispelling Myths about Maglev technology, by Larry Blow,    White paper format, 4/20/10

High Speed Rail World USA 2010 Conference and Workshop, Washington, D.C. April 19-21, 2010, 4/18/2010

Chinese plan to extend 34 km Shanghai maglev by 200 km, construction to begin soon, 3/13/2010

Editorial: Mr. Kasai goes to Washington (Japanese High Speed Train - rail and maglev - experiences), 8/23/2009

Chinese video clip shows the new Beijing maglev prototype running on its Tangshan test track, 7/20/2009

JR Tokai plans $60 billion Tokyo-Nagano Maglev Route,  6/2009

China develops maglev train for urban transport, 6/2009

FTA report on low speed maglev research program focused on lessons learned, March 2009, 47 pp., 5/20/09

Link to a 60 minute video on Transrapid maglev history and Shanghai installation - very instructive, 3/14/09

Link to Old Dominion University website for maglev project (with Magnemotion), 1/1/09

Magnemotion's new patent - press release, 12/16/2008

Link to new company called Fastransit, working with Applied Levitation on a switchable Maglev PRT concept, 12/05/2008

Final  Maglev 2008 conference program now available, December 15-18, San Diego, California, 12/03/2008

FRA announces funding of $45 million for maglev project studies, 10/18/08

Link to pictures of  Rotem's Daejeon maglev monorail 1-km demo site, in Korea. Inchon International Airport project being planned for 2012, 9/21/08

Hyundai-Rotem (Korean) Urban Maglev  webpage (go to Railway Systems > Products > MAGLEV's)  9/5/08

20th International Conference on Magnetically Levitated Systems and Linear Drives, 15-18 December '08, San Diego, CA, 8/5/08

Offer of Participation.  Details at website, currently only in German, 8/4/08

 Guideway Transportation System with Integrated Magnetic Levitation Suspension, Stabilization and Propulsion Functions, USPTO Patent Application, 20080148991, 7/4/08

Three YouTube videos useful for comparing maglev and steel wheel systems, 4/13/08

    A video is worth a thousand  words regarding the difference.  These simple YouTube videos demonstrate it.  This will also give you an idea of the sound level and the quality of the sounds.  The HSST Linimo has a distinctive propulsion sound.   No matter how much you mitigate steel on steel, it will still have wheel squeal.  Note the sliding beam mechanical crossover switch at the end of the Linimo video.  It is very simple and proven in years of service.  The train floats over the switch gaps. 
       Ride the Linimo HSST...
       Ride the JFK Airtrain...  
       Ride the Transrapid maglev (Shanghai)

Magnemotion receives $6.9M award from FTA to continue development work on urban maglev, 1/14/08

Chattanooga to Nashville Maglev Feasibility Study initiated, 11/12/07

Magplane to build maglev pipeline in Mongolia, 10/3/07

National Geographic video report on Transrapid Maglev development and initial application in China. 9/22/07

Marketing Strategy of the Japanese HSST Maglev System, 4/6/2007

Magtube paper describes PRT capability, 11/28/06

Magplane Withdraws Financing Agreement with ShangShan/Timsho, (see Latest News), 11/3/06

General Atomics Urban Maglev Program Status, 10/6/06

Magnemotion closes $3M in mezzanine round of funding (press release), 9/26/06
Linear Chuo Shinkansen Project, superconducting maglev train, 9/2/06 

MagneMotion granted U.S. patent for its magnetic levitation system, press release, 7/24/06

Link to new U.S.-based maglev website, includes worldwide coverage, 3/23/06

Photos of Shanghai installation of Transrapid system, 2/23/2006 (see Maglev in China > Service TR Shanghai > Visual Impressions)

New International Maglev Board launches website, 12/01/2005

Call for Papers, Maglev 2006 International Conference, 13-15 September 2006, Dresden, Germany, 11/04/2005

Link to California Regional Maglev Project - San Diego to Los Angeles, 10/3/05

Magplane making progress in China (look under Investor Relations for News), 5/18/05

Overview of the status of national/international maglev projects,(5/16/05)

Zhonghua-6 -- a lightweight, suspended, maglev system being developed in Dalian, China, (5/12/05)

HSST urban maglev train begins public service in Japan, (3/14/05)

UK Ultraspeed project - a maglev concept using German Transrapid technology, (2/19/05)

Maglev project in Philippines underway - working toward a National Maglev Initiative, (2/19/05)

NEWS - 2004 and Prior Years


Magnetic levitation (Maglev) is an advanced technology in which magnetic forces lift, propel, and guide a vehicle over a guideway (usually elevated). Utilizing state-of-the-art electric power and control systems, this configuration eliminates physical contact between vehicle and guideway and permits cruising speeds of up to 300 mph, somewhat higher than the speed of conventional high-speed rail service. Because of its higher speed, Maglev may be able to offer competitive trip-time savings to auto and aviation modes in the 40- to 600-mile travel markets–an needed travel option for the 21st century.

Currently Operational Systems  

Transrapid - a German technology that has been under development for many years. Two routes in Germany are under consideration an one route in China is under construction (as of early 2002).  Interest in the U.S. does exist.  For more details, see the Chronology of Maglev Activity in Germany.

High Speed Surface Transport (HSST) - a Japanese maglev technology that has been certified by the Ministry of Transportation as suitable for public service. An initial application has now been constructed in Japan. Executive Summaries from two reports prepared for the Federal Transit Administration are  available on-line that provide an assessment of the applicability of this Japanese effort for U.S. transportation needs. Also, see the Urban Maglev Interest Group website for more details

Japanese Superconducting Maglev Development - being conducted by the Railway Technical Research Institute at the Yamanashi Maglev Test facility. In April, 1999, a five-car trainset (MLX01) achieved a new world speed record of 552 km/hr. A critique of this technology by an American maglev scientist is available.

Systems or Components Under Development 

Autoshuttle - a German dualmode concept that utilizes maglev carriers to transport a variety of conventional vehicles

American Maglev - working on a project at Old Dominion University in Hampton Roads, VA. A press release describes the project as of December 10, 1999. Some additional details on the ODU demonstration and the AMT Team are also available. Here is an ODU press release about a groundbreaking ceremony on August 29, 2001. The project has been stopped by various difficulties and has not become operational, as of November, 2005.

Inductrak - developed at the Lawrence Livermore National Lab in Berkeley, California. Has been investigated by Unimodal (formerly known as SkyTran) for possible application in their high speed personal rapid transit system concept.

Rotem Corporation of Korea is developing a variety of maglev vehicles. new3.gif (1292 bytes)

Maglev 2000 of Florida - an effort to develop a prototype maglev technology based on the work of Drs. James Powell and Gordon Danby.

Magnetrans - a cable-drawn system being developed in California 

Magnemotion - a Massachusetts company founded in 1996, as a spin-off from the M.I.T. Lab for Electromagnetic and Electronic Systems. It is a developer of systems based on linear motor technologies for the transport of people and materials. For a summary paper that describes their Urban System, click here.

Magplane Technology, Inc. of Bedford, Massachusetts. Developing both a pipeline and a passenger version. A prototype pipeline version has been built and tested as of February, 2001. A full scale prototype of the passenger version is expected to be built during next three years. See status chart for details. Chinese magplane project underway as of May, '02

Modern Transport Systems Corporation (MTSC) - developing a novel maglev system for moving both goods and people, located in California new3.gif (1292 bytes)

Zhonghua-6 -- a lightweight, suspended, maglev system being developed in Dalian, China new3.gif (1292 bytes)

Federal Transit Administration's (US DOT) Urban Magnetic Levitation Transit Technology Development Program . This program was announced in January of 1999. Eight proposals were received in March of 1999. On February 18, 2000, FTA selected the first group to receive funding under the Urban Maglev Program. The initial grant went to the General Atomics Corporation (GA) which is leading a team to develop maglev technology that can be used to provide solutions to urban and regional transportation problems. Under a cooperative agreement with FTA, the GA team will develop low-speed magnetic levitation technology in the following main task areas (1) system studies, (2) base technology development (including technical risk identification and resolution), (3) route specific requirements, and (4) projection of overall system performance and a preliminary design for a full scale demonstration system concept.

Also see the February, 2001, press release from General Atomics which is a progress report. A 59 page final report from General Atomics was published in March, 2002 and is now available on-line (1.3 megs, pdf format).

Three additional grants have been made more recently. Brief descriptions and contact information for them is available. new3.gif (1292 bytes)

Also see the Urban Maglev Interest Group website.


Responding to the call of Congress in the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is conducting a search for one or more corridors in the nation where a fully operational, revenue-generating magnetic levitation system is justified. Seven candidate projects have been selected, one each in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Georgia, Louisiana, Nevada, California and Florida. On January 18, 2001, Pennsylvania and Maryland were selected as the winners of this competition. (See DOT press release). FRA grants, combined with local matching sources, are being used to examine the technical, environmental and organizational merits of the seven projects. The outcome is a detailed and comparably designed Project Description of each proposed system that will allow the FRA to make an informed selection of one or more of them for further environmental review and engineering development. The project descriptions will cover many subjects, including technology, route and operations, environmental impacts, ridership, costs and benefits, American content, public/private partnership arrangements, management and project schedule. Information about these projects is available as follows:

Studies were received by the FRA from all of the seven projects in June, 2000 and they were evaluated  by the FRA. As noted above, Pennsylvania and Maryland were selected in January, 2001. This will not be the final decision however, as further environmental studies are needed before a decision to build can occur. A single project will be selected and then, after a site specific Environmental Impact Study, assembly of a firm private/public partnership and final design, a decision to build will occur. All of this depends on the availability of some $950 million which has been authorized by Congress but not yet appropriated.

The Federal Railroad Administration's (US DOT) Magnetic Levitation Technology Deployment Program provides a website that includes a wide range of information regarding the development and use of maglev technology. FRA’s Maglev Technology Deployment Program has been designed to encourage the development and construction of an operating transportation system employing magnetic levitation capable of safe use by the public at a speed in excess of 240 miles per hour. Contract authority totaling $60 million has been provided by Congress for FY 1999-2001.

SwissMetro - a maglev system that would operate in a partially-evacuated tube which is being intensively studied in Switzerland. This project is no longer active as of early 2003. However, a book that calls for an AmericanMetro project was published in 2003.

National Maglev Initiative Report - an extensive national-scale, multi-year study, begun in 1990

System Concepts Under Development

BiWay - a dual mode concept being developed in the U.K.

Evacuated Tube Transit - concept being developed in the U.S.A., currently cooperating with high temperature superconducting maglev research group at Southwest Jiastong University in Chengdu, China

HiLoMag - a high-capacity, high speed system that can be used by dual mode vehicles that is being discussed by a team in Seattle, Washington. It features the use of linear synchronous motors.

Unimodal (formerly known as SkyTran) -an innovative technology that features suspended personal rapid transit vehicles that would be capable of speeds in the 100 mph range.


Maglev 2002, the 17th International Conference on Magnetically Levitated Systems and Drives was held in Lausanne, Switzerland, September 3-5, 2002.[User name: epfl; Password: 2002]

6th International Symposium on Magnetic Suspension Technology, Turin, Italy, October, 2001


High Speed Ground Transportation Association

Recommended Reading

Final Report from the National Maglev Initiative studies conducted by the Federal Railroad Administration in the early 1990's

High Speed Ground Transportation for America - a comprehensive examination of the potentials and pitfalls of a national high speed ground transportation system for the nation.

The Location and Design of Intermodal Stations for a High Speed Ground Transportation System - executive summary of a 276-page report prepared for the Federal Railroad Administration for its National Maglev Initiative program.

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Last modified: September 06, 2018