China launches world’s first neodymium-powered ‘sky train’
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China launches world’s first neodymium-powered ‘sky train’

China has launched the first maglev overhead train with neodymium magnetics. This can keep the Skytrain afloat forever, even without power.

A railway experiment of 800 meters in length in southern China’s Xingguo County (Jiangxi Province) uses strong magnets rich in rare Earth elements to produce a constant repulsive force that lifts a train carrying 88 passengers in the air. China Central Television reported this.

The suspended train travels at around 80 km/h, which is quite different from other maglevs. The creators of Jiangxi University of Science and Technology claim that the train can be moved under friction-free and free-floating conditions using very little electricity.

They said that the new maglev technology emits very little electromagnetic radiation and costs only a tenth of what it would cost to build a subway. Local transport authorities stated that the maximum line speed, at 120 km/h, will be achieved after several tests.

While ordinary magnets with opposite poles may repel one another, their magnetic strength decreases over time. A magnet’s lifespan can be greatly extended by adding rare earth elements. For example, neodymium can reduce the rate of magnetism loss to less than 5% per year. Rare earth magnets are therefore called permanent magnets.

One of its creators said that the permanent magnet maglev train “offers personalized and intelligent transportation that can compliment metro and light rail.” It will be a powerful engine for high-tech equipment manufacturing and China’s new competitive advantage in rail transport.

China launches world’s first neodymium-powered ‘sky train’
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