A team of research scientists at the University of Sussex, Brighton, revealed the electro-magnetic train suspension system that they have been developing for the past nine years, at a public viewing on Tuesday (27 August).
GV PAN EXT. University of Sussex
SCU PAN as magnetic train moves along track
SV Train reaching end of track and starts to return
CU Electro-magnetic track which supports carriage
Initials ET/2141 ET/2153
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Background: A team of research scientists at the University of Sussex, Brighton, revealed the electro-magnetic train suspension system that they have been developing for the past nine years, at a public viewing on Tuesday (27 August).
The team, led by Professor Bhalchandra Jayawant of the University's Applied Science Department, began researching into the possibilities of magnetic suspension in 1965. Their work has now resulted in a vehicle capable of carrying four passengers and which weighs one ton. It is supported by electro-magnetic induction over a short length of track erected inside one of the laboratories.
The scientists claim that the vehicle is the largest weight ever suspended electro-magnetically in Britain. With further development, they claim that a train built on similar principles could reach speeds of three hundred miles an hour (480 kph) would make far less noise than existing trains and would use less energy than the ill-fated Hovertrain project which was abandoned earlier this year.
The project was originally financed by a GBP127,000 grant from the Wolfson Foundation. However, the money will have been used up by next year, and the research team is now looking to the government for further financial support. Members of the team have confirmed that they have already made approaches to the Government's Science Research Council, and the reaction they had received had been "very favourable".
The first practical application of the system might well be on Brighton seafront, only a few miles from the University. Brighton Corporation are examining the possibility of replacing the existing electric railway - now nearly a hundred years old - with a train running on the electro-magnetic suspension system.