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Nevomo employees being creators of the first levitating train

Nevomo’s Director of Product Management and co-founder, Kacper Koniarski, and his team have developed a solution to introduce levitation into rail transport. What is the MagRail solution all about?

The MagRail solution is an idea that Kacper Koniarski says is set to revolutionise rail transport. On the company’s website, one can read – “by adapting the existing railway infrastructure, we want to enable our vehicles to travel at speeds of up to 550 km/h. This will be made possible through the development of MagRail technology (…). This allows both traditional trains and magnetically levitating vehicles to use the same railway track.” [1]

Initial work

Work on the solution began several years ago. In 2017, a prototype, created at the Warsaw University of Technology, made it to the finals of the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition [2]. Nevomo spent the following years fine-tuning its solution, carrying out a series of tests, culminating in this year’s test, which took place on a 720-metre section of the test track in Nowa Sarzyna. The test vehicle lifted approximately 2 cm above the track at a speed of 80 km/h [3].

What is crucial about the MagRail project is that its implementation does not require drastic changes to the railway infrastructure. Passage by levitating trains would be possible by retrofitting existing tracks with suitable magnetic components. The costs of such a solution would thus be many times less than the creation of new rail infrastructure [4].

MagRail Booster

Nevomo’s products also include the MagRail Booster solution. The technology is based on adding an in-line motor drive to freight wagons, thereby creating autonomous vehicles. As the company points out on its website: “The technology (…) addresses the challenges of freight transport and logistics (…). One of the key advantages of this system is that individual Booster wagons can operate independently without being connected to a locomotive. This provides new opportunities for applications where wagons can be organised into small groups instead of full train sets” [5].

Will the solution transform transport?

It is difficult to predict what, if any, impact the launch of MagRail will have on the market. However, it is worth being cautious with forecasts. In the history of transport development, many times “revolutions” have been prematurely announced that did not result in major changes in the market. One such revolution would include, for example, the Hyperloop project proposed by Elon Musk [6]. However, if the costs of introducing MagRail were low enough and the solution reliable, the effects on the economy and transport as we know it could be extremely promising.

In reference to Poland, the history of transportation demonstrates that revolutionary projects did not always bring the expected changes. It is worth mentioning the example of the Hyperloop project, prematurely hailed as a revolutionary solution that, however, did not have a significant impact on the market. However, if the implementation costs of MagRail were relatively low, and if this technology proved to be reliable, significant changes could occur in the structure of the economy and the transportation sector in Poland.

Bibliography

  1. Nevomo company website, https://www.nevomo.tech/pl/magrail/, (accessed on 11th October 2023).
  2. Nevomo company website, https://www.nevomo.tech/pl/vehicles/, (accessed on 11th October 2023).
  3. Geeweek website, Rail revolution from Poland. Train hovers over the tracks. Tests [VIDEO], https://geekweek.interia.pl/transport/news-kolejowa-rewolucja-z-polski-pociag-unosi-sie-nad-torami-test,nId,7008677, (accessed on 11th October 2023).
  4. Gazeta.pl website, Poles have created a levitating train. Test passed. Flew over existing tracks, https://next.gazeta.pl/next/7,151243,30160286,polacy-stworzyli-lewitujacy-pociag-test-zaliczony-polecial.html, (accessed on 11th October 2023).
  5. Nevomo website, https://www.nevomo.tech/pl/magrail-booster-nowe-rozwi%C4%85zanie-umo%C5%BCliwiaj%C4%85ce-modernizacj%C4%99-wagon%C3%B3w-kolejowych-w-celu-zwi%C4%99kszenia-wydajno%C5%9Bci-i-elastyczno%C5%9Bci-przewoz%C3%B3w/, (accessed on 11th October 2023).
  6. Money.co.uk website, Is this the end of Hyperloop from Musk? The tunnel has been demolished, https://www.money.pl/gospodarka/to-koniec-hyperloopa-od-muska-tunel-zostal-rozebrany-6832993413221024a.html, (accessed on 11th October 2023).
Patryk Kukla
Bio:
My primary motivation is to pursue an academic career through running research in the social psychology field. I hope that my work will have a positive impact on the academic community as well as the understanding of human nature.
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Patryk Kukla

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