A maglev is a magnetic levitation train that moves and is controlled by magnetic forces and, unlike a conventional train, does not touch the surface of the rail. These trains are fast and quiet, but the infrastructure for them is complex and can cost a lot of money. Therefore, the Italian startup IronLev, using the so-called “passive” maglev levitation, successfully tested it on conventional railway tracks. IronLev, instead of a large amount of energy to run an electromagnetic cushion transport system, used passive magnetic forces to create “an air cushion that physically lifts the vehicle off the track.”

In laboratory conditions, U-shaped passive ferromagnetic levitation was tested back in 2018, on a two-ton Tesla car, which seemed to be moved by a push of an invisible hand. Now the prototype of the future voyage maglev has been launched along a 2-kilometer section of the railway track on Adria-Mestre. The Maglev weighed a ton and managed to accelerate to 70 km/h. The tracks were not modified in any way. Co-founder Luca Cesaretti says: “Thanks to the features of our technology and low and velocity-independent friction, we can move a 10-tonne wagon with the same force required to lift a 10-kilogram backpack.” Next, IronLev plans to test a vehicle weighing 20 tons and reach a speed of 200 km/h.

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