European Start-up Develops Maglev Train for Standard Tracks

A Polish company called Nevomo has plans to revolutionize the rail freight industry. The Polish innovation is called Magrail, and involves magnetic levitation technology!

While our maglev-based transportation solution will transport containers on its own tracks, Nevomo wants to leverage existing infrastructure. The company is developing a maglev train that can operate on standard tracks with a speed of up to 340 miles per hour. This creates a hybrid railway system where both maglev and regular trains can be operated. This approach makes the implementation of a maglev train much simpler, as the infrastructure is already there.

Nevomo has successfully tested its technology, demonstrating a rail vehicle that can levitate on conventional tracks, naming this principle Magrail. Recent tests with a 6-meter long and 2-ton heavy test vehicle equipped with a linear motor and magnets, allowing it to maintain a distance from the tracks, were successful. The vehicle achieved an 84 mph speed on a half-a-mile-long track in Nowa Sarzyna, Poland. 

The European Union is supporting the project with €17.5 million.

People and Cargo

The speed at which Nevomo’s trains will move people and goods will have a great impact on the transportation and logistics sector. It will make travel over land over long distances much faster and cleaner, as maglev systems use much less energy than regular trains. It could become the new preferred mode of transport for inter-city travel, enabling people to work further from home and enabling companies to attract talent from further away.

The system will make rail freight much more efficient as well. It would mean a new sustainable alternative to road freight and air freight. The solution could increase both the efficiency and sustainability of supply chains. It could facilitate the rapid transit of goods, reducing lead times and enabling just-in-time deliveries, which is crucial in today’s fast-paced and demand-driven markets.

Carbon Footprint Comparison

Rail freight is renowned for its lower carbon footprint than other transportation modalities such as ocean, air, and road freight. The efficiency of rail transport allows for the movement of large quantities of goods over long distances with relatively low energy consumption, making it a more environmentally friendly option. When adding high speeds to the equation, combined with an even higher energy efficiency, the solution comes at just the right time. Many companies are looking for increasingly faster and more efficient ways to transport goods while also driving down their carbon footprint.

Global Perspective and Challenges

While Nevomo is pioneering this solution, high-speed levitating trains are not new. However, the uniqueness of this approach lies in the train’s compatibility with standard rail tracks, a feature that could accelerate the global adoption of this technology. The development and implementation of such advanced technology come with challenges, including high development costs, safety concerns, and regulatory hurdles.

Looking further into the future, the company also states that its technology can be used for a hyperloop-type solution, which would increase the speed even further.

Header image courtesy of Nevomo

About the author:

Martijn Graat

Martijn Graat is Zergratran’s Head of Content. He writes about trends and innovations in supply chain and logistics, and anything related to Zergratran