Mass Transit News

Maglev is a smarter way to say good-bye to oil

22 October 2008

Our economy, standard of living, and national security in the U.S. depend on efficient, effective, and affordable autos, trucks, airplanes, and trains. But rapidly escalating oil prices and America's increasing dependence on expensive oil imports from hostile and politically unstable countries threatens all three. The situation, bad as it is now, will get much worse in the coming years as world oil production declines.

The major mode of transport in the 21st century will be electric autos and trucks, and maglev (Magnetic Levitation). Oil-fueled autos and trucks will become as obsolete as coal-fired trains are today.

Why will this happen?

Even though modern maglev was invented by two American scientists - Drs. James Powell and Gordon Danby in the 1960's - the U.S. is behind the curve in the development of electric transport. The federal government started a maglev research program, but dropped it in 1973. However, other countries took up the slack and now lead the world in operating first generation maglev systems.

Japan's first-generation Superconducting Maglev system, which is based on the 1960's inventions of Powell and Danby, has carried over 50,000 passengers and holds the world ground speed record of 361 mph. Japan plans to build a 300 mph maglev line between Tokyo and Osaka that will carry over 100,000 passengers daily. Germany has also developed a first-generation maglev that uses conventional electromagnets rather than superconducting magnets. The maglev train in Shanghai, China, was built by Germany.

-James Jordan, DC Examiner Staff Writer
 President of the Interstate Maglev Project



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Dec. 15-18, San Diego.
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scale-model maglev

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Maglev is smarter way to say goodbye to oil