Originally Posted by M II A II R II K
Unless they were to develop a Maglev with rolled up wheels that extract on demand to travel on regular rails.
Originally Posted by mwadswor
I'd never heard this idea before about a couple days ago (from you)... if this is actually feasible, I'll have to at least partially change my position on maglev. My biggest issue with maglev is that it's not compatible with anything, if that weren't the case and if the price were to drop significantly, I'd probably be behind it.
the Colorado HSR project originally developed an electro-magneto drive (called the SERAPHIM motor) in conjunction with Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) in New Mexico. The Colorado HSR study began in 1989 and concluded in 1999 that a Mag-lev Monorail using the SERAPHIM motor, would be the most cost-effective transit solution for the I-70 mountain corridor between Denver and Vail, Colorado.
The state of Colorado later developed a prototype High Speed Monorail train using this magneto-drive propulsion system and tested it at the U.S. Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Transportation Technology Center (TTC)
in Pueblo, Colorado.
What they developed was a 125mph mag-lev-like monorail (Mag-lev Monorail)
. By not having the power source embedded in the full length of the track (instead using the on-board SERAPHIM motor), construction costs could be reduced significantly. The track is un-powered (unlike conventional mag-lev), the motor is in the train-set.
The Colorado High Speed Monorail developed in the 1990's was loosely based on an earlier prototype High Speed Mag-lev Monorail developed by Spain in the 1980's. Both the Spanish and the Colorado trains were proven feasible concepts. japan's version of mag-lev is also based on an on-board motor, instead of a powered magnetic track (the conventional mag-lev is the German designed mag-lev with expensive, powered magnetic track).
The main difference between mag-lev and High Speed monorail is that the high speed monorail has this advanced magneto-drive engine built into the train-set, not into the track. So instead of building hundreds of miles of expensive track to power the vehicle, this concept would put the motor back in the train and be powered by a catenary system or third rail. The energy requirements would be greater than any electric train in use today.
With the latest generation of the SERAPHIM motor, it's efficiency has been increased to the point that while at cruising speed, the monorail could actually retract it's wheels and operate as a true mag-lev. Again, powered by the SERAPHIM motor on-board the train, instead of a powered mag-lev track.
Click Here For more On This Report:
Here is the official Sandia National Laboratory project website.
Sandia National Laboratories is developing their Segmented Rail Phased Induction Motor (SERAPIM), a new type of linear induction motor offering unique capabilities for high-thrust, high-speed propulsion for urban maglev transit, advanced monorail, and other forms of high-speed ground transportation.
My point being, that it may not be too far fetched to take this High Speed SERAPIM Mag-lev Monorail that the Federal Government (FRA), Sandia National Laboratories and the State of Colorado spent millions developing over a 15 year period and make some small tweaks.
The retractable wheels for instance... What if these wheels where redesigned to be standard gauge and compatible with conventional railroad tracks? Then suddenly these train-sets might be able to be evolved into a train compatible for use on standard rail, mag-lev and monorail tracks. The only requirement being a suitable catenary power source and dedicated tracks (as it would not be FRA-compliant for shared freight rail tracks).
-Far cheaper to build than true mag-lev.
-Faster acceleration/deceleration than conventional electric HSR.
-Possibly adaptive to other types of track such as conventional electrified HSR tracks.
-Can handle both steep grades and sharp curves without slowing down.
-Can cruise at speeds over 125mph and possibly over 150mph.
-Would require new high-powered caternaries.
-Slower than true mag-lev.
-Not as smooth as true mag-lev but smoother than conventional rail.
-More costly than conventional electric HSR.
-No manufacturer of these train-sets currently exists.
-Critics will claim it's "untested technology" despite the fact that Spain, Japan and the US have all been developing and testing versions of this technology for the last 20 years.
Here are a couple more useful links about Linear Induction Motor (LIM) High Speed Mag-lev Monorail: