The SCMAGLEV (Superconducting Maglev) is a magnetic levitation (maglev) railway system based on the principle of magnetic repulsion between the track and the cars. The world’s premier high-speed rail operator Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central) developed the system. Created from the most advanced state-of-the-art 21st century technology, the SCMAGLEV (L0 Series) train is the fastest train in the world. By reaching the 600 km/h mark and setting an astonishing speed record for rail vehicles at 603 km/h (375 mph) the SCMAGLEV L0 Series train along with its revolutionary and technological advancements, to its superior environmental emission levels is the train of tomorrow for a brighter and faster future.
Unlike conventional railway systems, the SCMAGLEV accelerates and decelerates not by adhesion between wheel and rail, but through magnetic force generated between the onboard superconducting magnets and ground coils. This enables stable levitation and ultra-high-speed commercial passenger travel routes that exceed speeds of 500 km/h (311 mph). By operating completely separated from any surface at high speeds, this transformational form of transportation will eliminate the traditional challenges and constraints of rail-based systems.
As passengers speed toward their destinations, they will enjoy world-class features and amenities that will make their travel not just a journey but an experience both enjoyable and productive. The SCMAGLEV will have many comforts of a first-class airline cabin offering a superior level of interior comfort, service and style while travelling at similar speeds.
JR Central is currently constructing and promoting the SCMAGLEV system on the planned Chuo Shinkansen project linking Tokyo and Nagoya by 2027, and Osaka by 2045. Based on the Nationwide Shinkansen Railway Development Act, JR Central continues to carry out their mission of operating a high-speed railway that links the Tokyo Metropolitan areas with Nagoya and Osaka and to ensure the future foundation of the company. The revolutionary SCMAGLEV system is the product of years of research, innovation and optimization through successive generations of commercially proven high-speed rail operations in Japan.
JR Central is promoting the international deployment of the (N700-I) rolling stock high-speed rail systems by leveraging the comprehensive high-speed rail technology which performs at the worlds highest level. International deployment of the JR Central high-speed rail system will be a meaningful project that enables domestic manufacturers to strenghen their technology and skills through the expansion of the international high-speed rail market that may lead to technological innovation and cost reduction of railway-related equipment. JR Central has also promoted the SCMAGLEV system in international markets, particularly the Northeast Corridor of the United States between Washington D.C. and New York City.
The SCMAGLEV utilizes a linear motor, which resembles a conventional electric motor rolled out. In this example, the rotors inside a conventional motor correspond to the Superconducting Magnets on-board the vehicle, and the external stators correspond to the Propulsion Coils in the guideway. In a linear motor, though, the magnetic forces cause the magnets to move forward in a line, rather than rotating.
The SCMAGLEV is a futuristic magnetic levitation system that uses powerful magnetic forces for all aspects of operation-acceleration, deceleration, guidance and levitation-resulting in operating speeds of over 500km/h (311 mph) in everyday service. This revolutionary system results in travel times unlike anything traditional trains can achieve.
Superconductivity is the phenomenon of zero electrical resistance that occurs when the temperature of certain materials falls below a characteristic level. When an electric current is applied to a coil of such material in a superconductive state, it continues to flow permanently because of this zero resistance, resulting in the creation of a very powerful magnetic force. In the SCMAGLEV, magnets on-board the vehicles achieve a superconducting state by cooling a niobium-titanium alloy with liquid helium to a temperature of -452 degrees Fahrenheit (-269°c).
Instead of riding directly on rails like conventional trains, the SCMAGLEV levitates in a U-shaped concrete guideway. This guideway envelops the vehicles, preventing derailments. Installed into the sidewalls of the guideway are metal coils, which are key to the SCMAGLEV’s propulsion, levitation and guidance.
By passing an alternating electrical current through the Propulsion Coils installed on either side of the guideway, magnetic forces with alternating north and south poles are produced. The SCMAGLEV train is propelled by both the simultaneous attractive and repulsive magnetic forces created between the Propulsion Coils and the on-board Superconducting Magnets.
Levitation and Guidance Coils are also installed on either side of the guideway. When an SCMAGLEV train passes at high speed, its on-board superconducting magnets induce an electric current in the Levitation and Guidance Coils, causing them to become electromagnets. This generates pushing and pulling forces that lift the train and levitate it at a constant height.
The Levitation and Guidance Coils on opposite sides of the guideway are connected together in a loop under the guideway and maintain the SCMAGLEV’s horizontal positioning without any active control. When the train is pulled off-center to either side, an electric current is induced into the loop, generating an attractive force which is exerted on the further side combined with a repulsive force exerted on the nearer side. This automatically ensures that the train is kept securely in the center of the guideway at all times.
Because of the strength of Superconducting Magnets and a propulsion system that does not rely on adhesion, the SCMAGLEV can achieve very high speeds with rapid acceleration while retaining a comfortable passenger environment. This significantly decreases its travel times and increases service frequency.