Indian Railways explore running Maglev trains at 500 kmph speed

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New Delhi | August 9, 2016 8:09 PM

Aiming high, railways has explored possibility of running trains at about 500 km per hour speed to reduce travel time considerably between two cities.

Indian Railways, Suresh Prabhu, Indian Railways port projects, Indian Railways port rail projectsAiming high, railways has explored possibility of running trains at about 500 km per hour speed to reduce travel time considerably between two cities. (Reuters)

Aiming high, railways has explored possibility of running trains at about 500 km per hour speed to reduce travel time considerably between two cities.

Railways has sought introduction of Maglev (magnetic levitation) trains, a second generation high speed train running in China, Japan, Germany and South Korea, in the country and accordingly floated expression of interest.

Three companies – two from US and one from Japan – have so far shown interest. The last date for submitting the bids is September 6, said Railway Member (Rolling Stock) Hemant Kumar.

Maglev train floats above the track by about 1 inch to 6 inches on a cushion of magnetic power. The track magnets are controlled by computers which keep shifting forward the magnetic force of the track magnets so that the Maglev train is pulled forward.

“Besides transporting passengers, such trains can also be utilised for faster movement of goods,” Kumar said.

The Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed route is essentially a passenger route.

He said the route for Maglev train has not been identified yet.

There will be a 15 km long rail track constructed for trial of Maglev train.

Kumar, however, said the it will not be part of the railways system and a separate body has to be created for its coaches, track, propulsion, acces control system.

He said it is likely to be on a joint venture model and railways will be a technology partner in the project.

According to a rough estimate, it will cost about Rs 150 crore for constructing one km of elevated high speed track for Maglev train.

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