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Maglev Trains... Why So Few?  
User currently offlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8964 posts, RR: 39
Posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2650 times:

I have been spending some time at http://www.maglev.com learning more about the train and have a few questions:

Maglev.com says that the Maglev technology is more economic than the normal trains. If so, why is it that Shanghai is the only place with such technology in place? Shouldn't there be more contracts signed and an expanding network?

Is it because it just would cost too much and the current system is good enough for now? Or maybe economic times aren't being very helpful?

Also, can we expect to see maglev trains in the U.S. any time soon?

Thanks for any replies,
PPVRA

[Edited 2005-07-18 03:03:18]


"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26499 posts, RR: 75
Reply 1, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2643 times:

The main issues are space to put the elevated tracks and the cost of the systems, which is very high.


Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 977 posts, RR: 51
Reply 2, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2634 times:

Cost is especially high. In the case of the one existing maglev route to leave the labratory, the cost per mile was estimated at something like $60 million dollars per mile. This is outrageous compared with the price of high-speed train and road/air infastructure over long distances.

Until the price comes down significantly, it will appear in limited markets.

>> Maglev.com says that the Maglev technology is more economic than the normal trains

Well it's an industry lobby site, of course they will present maglev as the most economical transportation method. Maglev is, in fact, incredibly efficent and probably unbeatable on a seat/mile basis.... once constructed.

Again, construction cost is the kicker.

>> Also, can we expect to see maglev trains in the U.S. any time soon?

The U.S. is a finnicky market for rail. Before anyone jumps up and says Americans are ignorant car-loving gas-burning rapid individuals who would never sit down in a train, remember that the U.S. still has a relativly low population density with the exception of a few corridors.

Many states are considering rail (both highspeed, maglev, etc) as future means of people-moving. California, Texas, and Florida have all looked at intra-state rail, but even building something like the ICE has questionable return.

One step Texas has made is to aquire the land for a rail system now, so that a direct rail system can be installed at some point in the future. The Trans-Texas Corridor project includes a swath of land between the major metroplex areas (DFW, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, NAFTA lane) for bi-directional rail. I appreciate that sort of forsight from our leaders, though rail now would also be great  Wink


User currently offline57AZ From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2550 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2582 times:

Generally speaking the development cost of the necessary infrastructure shuts down discussion. Land acquisition and noise pollution are also major factors. Maglev trains tend to produce noise levels equivilent to that of a jet aircraft taking off. For most applications heavy rail is a better choice all around.


"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
User currently offline7FTwinOtter From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 172 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2576 times:

There is a proposal to build a maglev train system running from London to Glasgow, the cost was estimated at £16 billion.

User currently offlineAloges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8707 posts, RR: 42
Reply 5, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 2545 times:

Quoting 57AZ (Reply 3):
Maglev trains tend to produce noise levels equivilent to that of a jet aircraft taking off.

That must be an awfully silent jet you're comparing the Maglev with. Here's a video (QuickTime) showing a Maglev "flying" by, I assum its at or near top speed.



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11655 posts, RR: 60
Reply 6, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 2519 times:

Maglevs are the preferred way forward for long distance railway travel, a quick Google search will highlight the various plans. I still think that the Maglev link from Shanghai to the airport was a complete waste of money; like any train they take time to get up to full speed, 2 minutes in the case of Shanghai, and another 2 minutes to slow down again from 437kmph/267mph. So, out of the full journey time of just over 7 mins you are only doing your top speed for 3. Just an example of China showing off their engineering skills.

The Maglev concept was actually invented in the US in the early 1900's by Robert Goddard and Emile Bachelet. I think the first to demonstrate the idea was a German called Hermann Kemper.

Dan Smile



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8964 posts, RR: 39
Reply 7, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 2497 times:

Quoting 57AZ (Reply 3):
Generally speaking the development cost of the necessary infrastructure shuts down discussion. Land acquisition and noise pollution are also major factors. Maglev trains tend to produce noise levels equivilent to that of a jet aircraft taking off. For most applications heavy rail is a better choice all around.

Noise is definately not a problem, and the link above shows that land acquisition is lower for the maglev... no idea how, but that's what they say anyways...

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 6):
Maglevs are the preferred way forward for long distance railway travel, a quick Google search will highlight the various plans. I still think that the Maglev link from Shanghai to the airport was a complete waste of money; like any train they take time to get up to full speed, 2 minutes in the case of Shanghai, and another 2 minutes to slow down again from 437kmph/267mph. So, out of the full journey time of just over 7 mins you are only doing your top speed for 3. Just an example of China showing off their engineering skills.

Agree 100%. But then, they might be improving their backwards-engineering (don't think "backwards" is the right term...) skills as they are well know of doing...

Thanks for the replies guys.

PPVRA



"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
User currently offlineAloges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8707 posts, RR: 42
Reply 8, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 2497 times:

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 6):
Just an example of China showing off their engineering skills.

Sorry?



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14027 posts, RR: 62
Reply 9, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 2487 times:

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 6):
Just an example of China showing off their engineering skills.

 rotfl   rotfl 
The Transrapid Maglev was designed and built in Germany!

Jan


User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11655 posts, RR: 60
Reply 10, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 2470 times:

LOL, I guess this is just another case of me doing sarcasm really badly, should have used a  sarcastic .

Dan Smile



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlineDba4U From Germany, joined Mar 2005, 665 posts, RR: 14
Reply 11, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 2467 times:

Yeah they wanted to run it between Hamburg and Berlin but... Guess what? Right... The costs of building the tracks were way to high, so they wanted to build a shorter route Munich Center to Munich Airport but even for that route the costs were to high (well... Officially they're still considering it as a possibility, but...). So to get at least a bit of money back they've invested these dumbass politicians sold the German prestige project to China....

User currently offlineAloges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8707 posts, RR: 42
Reply 12, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 2454 times:

Quoting Dba4U (Reply 11):
So to get at least a bit of money back they've invested these dumbass politicians sold the German prestige project to China....

That's our job in the world: inventing toys, bitching endlessly over playing with them and in the end selling them to someone who wants something new!  crazy 



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14027 posts, RR: 62
Reply 13, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 2444 times:

Don't forget that in both cases (including the Ruhrgebietsbahn) they also had the NIMBYs against them, like this story about the train being as loud as a jet fighter...  crazy 

It was even argued by certain members of the Greens why traffic had to be so fast, we should go back to the times when it took 10 hours to travel from Berlin to Hamburg (Yes, I listened to some BS like this).

Jan


User currently offlineAloges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8707 posts, RR: 42
Reply 14, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 2440 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 13):
It was even argued by certain members of the Greens why traffic had to be so fast,

Hmmmm... maybe you need to be able to think quickly to understand why people want to travel quickly!  Wink

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 13):
we should go back to the times when it took 10 hours to travel from Berlin to Hamburg

10 hours is way too fast. I mean, you could still smash a bee at that speed!  rotfl 

In seriousness, I think there are few people who are further from reality than "Fundi" Greens Party members. Theoretically, we could of course abandon civilisation and be happy sitting around the fire for the rest of our lives, but that's simply not what human beings do. The pity is you still end up voting for the party they're in if you want any progress in ecological technology to be made.



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineBristolFlyer From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 2297 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 2435 times:

There used to be one at BHX between the airport an the train station. It got taken away (and replaced by a regular train I think). Really quiet and really smooth.

BF



Fortune favours the brave
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14027 posts, RR: 62
Reply 16, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 2430 times:

I'm serious, there are a few fundamentalist Greens, who would like to go back to a lifestyle like the one of the Amish, just without the religion. For non-German A.netters, there are two wings within the German Green party, the fundamentalists, short "Fundies" and the realists, short "Realos".
Minister of foreign affair Joschka Fischer is a Realo.

Jan


User currently offlineBlackbird1331 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1893 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 2427 times:

Let's calm down. How about a Mag-Lev horse-and-carriage?


Cameras shoot pictures. Guns shoot people. They have the guns.
User currently offlineFlybyguy From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 1801 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 2427 times:

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 6):
Just an example of China showing off their engineering skills.

China? Engineering prowess? Hahahahahahahhaha! All their technology is either bough or stolen, their education systems produce walking computer not innovative thinkers. Sure in the past they've had a quite complex civilization when most of the rest of the world was galloping around in loincloths or in the nude, but what better irony for the west to take their precious inventions such as gunpowder and then return later to bring them to their knees with guns and cannons?



"Are you a pretender... or a thoroughbred?!" - Professor Matt Miller
User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11655 posts, RR: 60
Reply 19, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 2412 times:

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 10):
LOL, I guess this is just another case of me doing sarcasm really badly, should have used a .

I have been to China, whilst I consider their engineering to be interesting, you can also see it falling apart as they are building it. I just could not believe that they were using bamboo as the only support for a flyover whilst the concrete pillar was rebuilt (Yes I know bamboo has been tested and is just as strong as regular scaffolds in theory).

Dan Smile



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21470 posts, RR: 53
Reply 20, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 2392 times:

Much disinformation in this thread...

a) The "Fundi" faction within the german greens has long left the party. You won´t find anybody remotely comparable to Jutta Dithfurt among the greens any more (thank god!).

b) The Hamburg/Berlin track simply wasn´t feasible. It looked like a nice idea on first glance but fell apart as soon as the specifics were considered.

Some of the problems it suffered from:
- Massive cost for track building and maintenance.
- Transrapid track infrastructure such as joints or crossings are extremely expensive.
- No commonality with the rest of the railway infrastructure - Deutsche Bahn wanted nothing to do with it.
- Both in Hamburg and in Berlin huge construction efforts would have been required to build parallel tracks to the conventional railway system into the city centers (flattening large numbers of buildings etc.). If they had stopped at the outskirts of the cities, any advantage would have been lost in the commute anyway.
- Transrapid is not suited for cargo transport - a conventional track would have been necessary in any case; The maglev track would have been an additional effort.
- At the speeds attained by ICE and Transrapid, even mass transport becomes energetically inefficient at some point.
- Only very minor travel time reduction over an ICE track. - In the range of only a few minutes on the Hamburg/Berlin track!
- It would have been an ultimately pointless technology demonstrator, massively subsidized at the expense fo the rest of german railway infrastructure.

It´s an interesting technology in principle, but it´s simply not very practical.


User currently offlineHT From Germany, joined May 2005, 6525 posts, RR: 23
Reply 21, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week ago) and read 2360 times:

Some aspects have already been discussed in thread http://www.airliners.net/discussions...general_aviation/read.main/2155002
which also has some interesting links in reply 47.
-HT



Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
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