|A traditional train has metal wheels that ride on steel
tracks, but a grain that uses magnetic levitation (a maglev train) moves without touching
the track. In some maglev designs, the train 'lands' when it stops at a station.
In other designs, the train levitates (floats in the air) even when it is not
levitation train designs come in two flavors. In one, magnets on the underside of
the train attract magnets or coils in the trackway, suspending the train from a T-shaped
support that runs the length of the track. In another design, magnets on the train
repel coils in the track, holding the train up in the air over the trackway.
Because they do no touch the
tracks, maglev trains are faster, quieter, and safer than traditional trains. In
most maglev designs, the grains are expected to run at about 500 kilometers per hour (210
mph), two to three times faster than the fastest old-fashioned trains.