China has launched the world’s first suspended magnetic levitation line, built with permanent magnets that can keep a “sky train” afloat forever without power supply, the South China Morning Post reports.
Unlike most existing magnetic levitation lines, the suspended rail operates about 10 meters above the ground. There is no physical contact with the rail as the train moves underneath it at a speed of 80 km/h. One arm of the train surrounds the rail and the permanent magnets on both the arm and the rail repel each other, suspending the train.
According to Interesting Engineering magazine, the train could be ideal for cities with high levels of noise pollution. The train can be seen as accident-proof because the permanent magnetic field can absorb most of the shocks that would damage other trains.
Local transportation authorities said that after some tests, the line would be upgraded to 7.5 km and its maximum operating speed would reach 120 km/h. Many Chinese cities are building or planning magnetic levitation lines. Some trains can go as fast as 600 km/h.
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