On December 1, 2016, MoS Railways Rajen Gohain said that the Indian Railways are planning to bring state-of-the-art Maglev (magnetic levitation) trains to India within the next three years.
He also added that the Railway Ministry has floated an ‘Expression of Interest’ or EOI for designing and building the levitation based train system on public and private partnership (PPP) basis and has already asked the Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES) to prepare a detailed report on the project within the next six months.
Once approved, the long and tiring train journeys on the Indian railways would be a thing of the past, as Maglev trains would be much faster than the current trains.
These trains run on special tracks called guideways which has heavy magnetic coils under the train so as to repel the tracks with heavy magnets thus making the coaches levitate 1 – 6 inches above the tracks.
These magnets are controlled by computers which help in keep pushing the magnetic force forward so that the Maglev train is pulled ahead or backwards.
The coaches thus ride on a cushion of air due to the powerful electromagnetic field which eliminates friction and makes the train much faster.
The train’s aerodynamic designs also help in cutting the air faster and thus at times it can achieve speeds upto 500 kmph.
Though details about the Maglev trains have not yet been released, it is roughly estimated that the project will cost about Rs 150 crore for constructing one km of elevated high-speed track for Maglev train.