Nevomo has carried out a successful test of its electromagnetic levitation train prototype, the MagRail. Unlike similar HyperLoop projects which require dedicated tracks, the Polish company has demonstrated the feasibility of its technology on conventional railway rails.
The test took place on a 720 meter test track. The six-meter-long prototype began levitating at a height of 20 millimeters from a speed of 70 km/h, reaching a maximum speed of 135 km/h. This first test on a conventional track marks a decisive step in the public transport sector where speed and efficiency are essential.
A train soon in France?
Electromagnetic levitation, or Maglev, is based on superconductivity. It uses superconducting magnets on the trains and electromagnets on the tracks. When a current is induced in the track, a force results, allowing the train to levitate above the track. This absence of friction, usually a source of energy loss, allows speeds theoretically greater than 400 km/h, or even up to 500 km/h.
Nevomo’s technology is distinguished by the use of a conventional track, which can significantly reduce the costs associated with the construction of new infrastructure. Przemek Ben Paczek, CEO and co-founder of Nevomo, emphasized that this technology “ is not just a vision for the future; it’s a tangible solution for today “. According to the company, MagRail technology can reach a maximum speed of 550 km/h.
Nevomo is not the only player interested in electromagnetic levitation technology. Similar initiatives exist, particularly in Asia. At the end of 2020, China unveiled a Maglev prototype that could reach a maximum speed of 800 km/h. However, these alternatives require dedicated channels, unlike the system developed by Nevomo.
In Europe, SNCF signed a cooperation agreement with Nevomo last March. The objective is to evaluate the advantages of Maglev technology on the French public network, both for passenger transport and freight. This partnership signals growing interest in this technology, which also appears to attract investors. Nevomo thus raised 11 million euros and received 17.5 million euros from the European Commission.
On paper, MagRail ticks a lot of boxes: a European technology that requires minimal investment in infrastructure – after all, the old continent is already dotted with railway tracks on which this type of trains could run. After SNCF, Nevomo could obtain the support of other European rail transport giants. And maybe one day we will be able to levitate!