Forget bullet trains! This new levitating train will travel at over 500 km/ph
Trialled at a test track in Nowa Sarzyna, a Polish deep tech firm has successfully performed the world’s first-ever tests on an ultra-fast train designed to levitate over existing railway infrastructure.
Announcing the results at a press conference in Brussels yesterday, Nevomo’s innovative MagRail technology now stands to revolutionise travel by acting as a bridging point between traditional rail systems and the hyperloop solutions that have been billed as the future of transport.
Przemek Pączek, the CEO and co-founder of Nevomo, underlined the importance of the results saying: “Today marks a landmark moment in Nevomo’s development.
“For the first time in railway history, a rail vehicle moved not on the existing tracks, but over them, without friction.”
Continuing, he added: “This shows that our MagRail technology is not just a vision for the future; it is a tangible solution for today. A solution for a greener, more connected Europe.
“By leveraging existing infrastructure, we offer a cost-effective and environmentally friendly approach to modernising rail transport, in line with the European Green Deal's objectives.”
During the tests, MagRail vehicles topped speeds of 135 km/hr over a 720-metre section of track. Weighing two-tons, their six-metre long vehicle levitated after hitting 70 km/hr and was able to register 100 km/hr in just eleven seconds.
Ultimately, MagRail passenger trains are expected to reach 550 km/hr, thereby significantly reducing travel times.
Sebastian Kaluza, Nevomo’s product development director, said: “The successful tests are the result of the knowledge and hard work of dozens of our engineers and experts. And this is just the beginning.
“We already collaborate with industry giants, including Rete Ferroviaria Italiana, SNCF, Duisport, and GATX to define various applications for MagRail, and these successful tests are paving the way for pre-commercial operational pilots.”
The result of three-and-a-half years of research, Nevomo’s concept has sought to prove that it is possible to retrofit rail infrastructure with linear motor and magnetic levitation devices, thereby “combining the reliability of traditional rail systems with the potential of transformative technologies like Maglev and hyperloop.”
Trialled on Europe’s longest passive magnetic levitation test track, the technology promises to transform the rail experience – rather than running to fixed schedules, MagRail trains will operate in a variable capacity and be able to adapt to demand in the same way as modern metro systems.
Thanks to Nevomo’s pioneering findings, wagons would be able to move on their own with the number of carriages per train adjusted “on the fly”.
“For that,” says Nevomo’s engineers, “upgrading selected sections or entire railway lines would be sufficient, eliminating the need to build entirely new transport infrastructure.”
Nevomo has announced that they will continue testing different applications before seeking to commercialise the first versions of MagRail for freight transport in 2024.