Science Articles

Now it is possible to see flying trains with magnetic levitation! How? Let’s Find Out…

blind man

What is a magnetic levitation train?

Tunnel train, vacuum train or magnetic levitation trains are high-speed trains. When trains run on wheels or any surface, there is a certain level of friction that occurs. This friction reduces the speed of the train. The idea of a magnetic levitation originates from this phenomenon where the friction should be eliminated to increase the speed.


The Japanese train ‘Maglev’ is a ‘MAG’netic – ‘LEV’itation train. This function is based on the magnetic force in the tube carrying the train. The tube consists of powered tracks with copper coiling that works like a driving force.

How does a Maglev function?

There are two types of electromagnetic trains:

Electromagnetic suspension (EMS): These work on electromagnets that conduct the train without causing friction at high speeds. It is similar to the broken magnets game that children play. Magnetic coils attract and repel each other causing the train to move. A synchronized magnetic movement causes the train to move at a shooting speed.

Electrodynamic suspension (EDS): These trains are similar but use strong permanent magnets that create a magnetic field that propels the train’s unit pushing and pulling the train towards the designed pathway.

What is Hyperloop?

Maglev is taken to the next level by Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla and SpaceX, who has started this new train system, ‘Dubbed Hyperloop’, Musk aims for a structure that runs on the science of a vacuum tube that uses vacuum and speed theory to run a train.

Reduced air resistance can give the train speed as high as 6,400–8,000 km/h (4,000–5,000 mph). This means trains can now travel at the speed of sound. That is faster than an aircraft.

How does a Hyperloop function?

Hyperloop will have built-in tunnels that have had some of the air sucked out to lower the pressure. So, like high-altitude flying, there’s less resistance against the pod moving through the tunnel, meaning it can be much more energy-efficient, which is desirable in any transit system.

For Hyperloop, the idea is to lower the air pressure, a job that could be done by regularly placed air pumps. These pumps are less costlier and do not consume much energy.

Indian Technology in tunnel and Mag-lev trains:

Maharashtra is constructing a hyperloop between India’s financial capital Mumbai and Pune, which is 200 kilometers away and takes 3.5 hours. Hyperloop will complete this journey in 35 minutes, according to the press release. This project is being undertaken under, Jay Walder, CEO of the American transport tech firm Virgin Hyperloop One.

Career Graph in this Industry

A student willing to make a career in the automotive industry can pursue a branch of automobile engineering and take a specialization in automotive engineering.

Automobile Engineering is one of the disciplines of engineering that trains students in manufacturing, designing and operating automobiles. It is a branch of vehicle engineering that manages aspects like electrical, mechanical, software electronic, and safety elements of buses, motorcycles, trucks, etc.

➤ Madras Institute of Technology, Chennai

➤ PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore

➤ SCMS School of Engineering and Technology (SSET), Cochin

➤ Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI), Mumbai

➤ SRM University, Chennai

Research Institutes Working On Further Advancement In This Technology:

Noida International University

Magnetic Levitation (MAGLEV): A Technology to Propel Vehicles

SRMGPC, Lucknow, India

Review of Magnetic Levitation (MAGLEV): A Technology to Propel Vehicles with Magnets

Department of Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering, AITRC Vita, India

A Review Paper on High-Speed Maglev with Smart Platform Technology

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