The Linimo Maglev Train is The world's first commercial automated
"Urban Maglev" system.
Built for the 2005 World Expo in Nagoya Japan the 8.9klm line
connects Bampaku-yakusa station to Fujigaoka station. Japan has
several private railway companies that can operate independent lines
to each other. Transferring from one companies station to another
companies station to
complete your journey is a common occurrence in Japan, so the fact
that the unique Maglev system is used terminating at one end of the
Aichi Loop Railway and the other end of the Nagoya Subway
Higashiyama Line is not a problem.
There are 9 stops on the line that goes from a highly elevated track
around the hills near the Expo site to a underground track where it
terminates next to the Subway line. The Linimo has a minimum
operating radius of 75 m and a maximum gradient of 6%. The
magnetic-levitated train has a top speed of 100 km/h. The line
serves the local community as well as the Expo 2005 fair site. The
trains were designed by the Chubu HSST Development Corporation,
which also operates a test track in Nagoya.
The Linimo is not the only Maglev Project in Japan, there are plans
to develop a Maglev Bullet Train (Shinkasen) From Tokyo to Osaka.
Bullet Trains have been used all across Japan since 1964 but these
trains are a fairly standard arrangement in the fact they use the
familiar steel track system. With the ability to tilt into corners
these fast trains can reach speeds of up to 300Klm/h.
The New Maglev Shinkasen is being tested on a test track in
Yamanashi prefecture where test trains have reached 581 km/h (363
mph), These trains use superconducting magnets which allow for a
larger gap, and repulsive-type "Electro-Dynamic Suspension" (EDS).
In comparison the
100khr Linimo train uses conventional electromagnets and
attractive-type "Electro-Magnetic Suspension" (EMS). These
"Superconducting Maglev Shinkansen", developed by the Central Japan
Railway Co. ("JR Central") and Kawasaki Heavy Industries, are
currently the fastest trains in the world, achieving a record speed
of 581 km/h on December 2, 2003. If a proposed Chuo Shinkansen is
built, connecting Tokyo to Osaka by maglev, this test track would be
part of the line.
The long term benefits of a maglev system not only begin with a safe
smooth and quiet ride. It is suggested that because there is no
friction between the train and the track operating costs are much
lower along with less ware and tear costs associated with the moving
parts of a traditional train. perhaps as the initial outlay costs of
these 21st century trains reduce more and more may be seen all
across the world.