Technical Reports

High Speed Switches for Maglev Vehicles

  • 01
  • Oct
  • 1993
AUTHOR: R. Fontana
OFFICE: RPD
REPORT NUMBER: DOT/FRA/ORD-93/01
SUBJECT: Maglev
KEYWORDS: High Speed Switch, Electromagnetic Switch, Guideways
ABSTRACT: High speed switches are required to maintain throughput capacity and schedule and route flexibility in a successful Maglev system. Ride quality constraints at full speed require switch lengths of 300m or more. Moving mechanical guideways of this length safely and reliably is impractical. Electromagnetic switches that utilize the same basic principles as Maglev for levitation and guidance provide a means of switching vehicles safely, reliably, quickly, and cost-effectively at full speed. Most of the major System Concept Definition (SCD) configurations do not include a high speed switch. Several conceptual designs for high speed switches based on electromagnetic levitation and guidance with no moving guideway components were developed in this program and are described in this report. Preliminary high speed switch concepts for the M.l.T./Bechtel, Magneplane, Transrapid, and Grumman configurations are developed and analyzed. The Foster-Miller concept, which already incorporates a high speed switch, is described in this report. The best switch configurations for each concept were selected based on their respective impacts on system performance and safety. Most of the best switch configurations require some modification of the vehicle yet maintain the key attributes of each configuration. It is critical to make the changes required to achieve safe high speed switches while he SCD configurations are still flexible concepts in early development.

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