Berlin has unveiled plans for a “maglev” rail, or sustainable magnetic levitation train. This is how it will function.
The German capital will invest €80 million from a dedicated climate budget to construct a five- to seven-kilometer test track for the green transportation initiative.
The city intends to construct the monorail in a location where it can be used after the testing period, while the exact location is still up in the air.
In less time and money than building a subway line, driverless magnetic levitation, or “maglev,” trains may be introduced in the next two years.
It is thought that this will lessen Berlin’s automobile emissions and traffic.
How would Berlin’s magnetic levitation train function?
Magrail systems, which are based on magnetic levitation technology, are a step toward the even more future Hyperloop. Magnets are used to lift a train off the track and another set of magnets to move it forward.
This minimizes the friction caused by the train’s contact with the track, increasing speed and decreasing noise.
In Europe, the Polish business Nevomo has partnered up with Rete Ferroviaria Italiana, the Italian railway infrastructure management, to create maglev technology that it hopes can be retrofitted to existing railway rails.
Nevomo claims that if used to high-speed lines, it could double the top speed of a French TGV train to 550 km/h.
The German Transrapid technology, which consists of a high-speed magnetic levitation monorail, is already in operation in Shanghai, China. It was opened in 2004 and can presently reach speeds of 300 km/h. Maglev trains are also used in South Korea and Japan.
Berlin’s first maglev train isn’t the city’s first foray with magnetic rail. The M-Bahn, or Magnetbahn, was a 1.6 kilometer line with three stops that ran experimentally in 1984 then for passengers from 1989 to 1991.
It was developed in West Berlin to fill a public transportation void left by the Berlin Wall. After the wall fell, the line became obsolete and was removed to allow for underground expansion.
Dirk Stettner of the CDU parliamentary group, which administers Berlin in collaboration with the SPD party, unveiled plans for the newest maglev train.
By 2045, the city hopes to be carbon neutral. When maglev construction will commence is unknown.