Maglev: an unfulfilled dream?

2014-08-19T10:35:10Z (GMT) by Roger Goodall
Although Maglev has been technically developed in a variety of forms, and has had some limited operational success, the dream envisaged in the 1960s and 1970s of wide-scale commercial implementation remains elusive. This paper provides a technical and historical appraisal, starting with the expected features believed in the early days to characterise Maglev, and reviews the actual achievements against these expectations, i.e. to assess the progress towards the original dream and its viability. The conclusion includes a commentary on the present day opportunities and barriers, and offers some suggestions for emphasis into the future. The objective is to stimulate a discussion aimed at helping to understand why the dream remains largely unfulfilled.