A project rendition of the future MagRail train, Source: Nevomo

Polish startup tested the first magnetic rail train in the world

Polish startup tested the first magnetic rail train in the world

The technology differs from maglev in that it allows the usage of already existing infrastructure, with only slight modifications

A 720-metre railway track in Nowa Sarzyna (Poland) served as the test site for the world’s first MagRail train. This technology, developed by Polish startup Nevomo, lets the trains lift off and levitate above the rails, which allows for the development of high speeds. There is a potential to reach 550 km/h as explained by the innovators.

The levitation concept makes MagRail technology similar to the already existing maglev (magnetic levitation) high-speed trains that are currently in use in Japan and South Korea. However, there’s one major difference – MagRail trains can use the already existing railway infrastructure and that makes a huge difference cost-wise.

This could do away with fixed train schedules

The engineers of Nevomo have taken it up to task to prove that developing a levitating train over existing rails is possible. It took some three-and-a-half years of research, and the result was demonstrated at Europe’s longest passive magnetic levitation test track.

During the tests, MagRail vehicles topped speeds of 135 km/h on the track. Weighing two tons, the six-metre-long vehicle levitated after hitting 70 km/h and was able to register 100 km/h in just eleven seconds.

Still, some modifications to the rail tracks will be necessary in order to accommodate the new type of train. However, overall, this will be much cheaper, requiring less effort than creating brand-new infrastructure from scratch.

It is the missing link between existing railway infrastructure and brand-new digital railway systems,” says Przemek Paczek, CEO of Nevomo, as quoted by Emerging Europe. He explained that both traditional trains and magnetically levitating vehicles can use the same railroad track. 

The company will continue the research and the development of MagRail not only for levitation but also for different applications of that technology. The aim is to improve efficiency and capacity before commercialising the first version of MagRail for freight transport in 2024



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