Hyperloop is becoming the term synonymous with the most major advances in what we once knew as the train. This will see eco-friendly powered tube-based pods that can travel at speeds of up to 760mph, in this case thanks to passive magnetic levitation. That means trips from LA to San Francisco, or London to Edinburgh, will take about 30 minutes.
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, one company developing pods, has shown off its passive magnetic levitation system which, unlike traditional active maglev, will be cheaper and easier to install.
Current maglev trains need actively powered train lines with copper coiling which can all be pricey. This passive system puts the magnets on the trains and works with aluminium track, allowing the train to power itself into the air.
The magnets initially propel the train forward then allow the train to levitate away from the tracks, thereby removing friction. Then a thrust can be fired to accelerate to 760mph. Another thrust is used to slow the pods as the magnetic system regeneratively recharges and helps bring the vehicle to a stop.
"Utilising a passive levitation system will eliminate the need for power stations along the Hyperloop track, which makes this system the most suitable for the application and will keep construction costs low," said Bibop Gresta, COO of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies. "From a safety aspect, the system has huge advantages, levitation occurs purely through movement, therefore if any type of power failure occurs, Hyperloop pods would continue to levitate and only after reaching minimal speeds touch the ground."