Technical Reports

Safety of High Speed Magnetic Levitation Transportation Systems - Preliminary Safety Review of the Transrapid Maglev System

  • 01
  • Nov
  • 1990
AUTHOR: Robert M. Dorer and William T. Hathaway
KEYWORDS: maglev; magnetic levitation; transportation; safety; high speed ground transportation; maglev safety regulations; Transrapid
ABSTRACT: The safety of various magnetically levitated trains under development for possible implementation in the United States is of direct concern to the Federal Railroad Administration. This report, one in a series of planned reports on maglev safety, .. 'addresses safety issues related to a specific maglev technology, Transrapid. The Transrapid maglev system has been under development by the German Government over the last 10 to 15 years and has evolved into the current system with the TR-07 vehicle. A technically based safety review has been under way over the last year by the U.S. Department of Transportation. This interim report presents the initial results of this review to identify and assess potential maglev safety issues. - Section 1 provides a history of the project and explains the need for Federal involvement. Section 2 describes the safety evaluation approach applied to the review of the Transrapid system. Section 3 describes the current Transrapid technology in some detail. Section 4 lists the potential maglev safety issues identified to date. Section 5 reviews the risk assessment of the identified safety issues. Section 6 proposes resolution options for the identified hazards, including a list of areas where modified or new Federal regulations need to be developed. Section 7 presents the conclusions of this review and provides recommendations on potential rule-making actions.