Maglev can make rapid transit more energy efficient
and environmentally friendly.

Maglev transportation systems are designed to be highly energy efficient. In a direct comparison, high-speed maglev systems are more energy efficient and environmentally friendly than air traffic. Certainly, transport and mobility will always consume energy and resources, but some maglev systems already today offer considerable advantages in this area.  In addition, maglev trains do not create direct pollution emissions and are always quieter in comparison to traditional systems when operating at the same speeds.
In high-speed intercity transport, using maglev trains can offer an especially good cost-benefit ratio as regards land purchase, construction, operation, maintenance and environmental protection. Future technological advances can be expected to improve this ratio even more.

In the area of noise emissions, maglev trains are superior in every way to wheel/rail systems, not to mention airplanes. Comparisons made at the same speed show that all rolling friction noises, every track screech, all shocks from wheel-on-rail contact are eliminated in maglev systems that use magnetic forces rather than physical contact to keep the vehicle upright. Noise generated by air turbulence is also greatly reduced with maglev high-speed trains, making them clearly superior to all wheel/rail vehicles. In particular, the noise from the conventional train’s pantograph is replaced in maglev by a process of induction and the required energy is transferred without physical contact.

At speeds under 200 km/h (125 mph), maglev systems can hardly be heard, especially in an urban environment – an important advantage for settled areas. The Chinese Transrapid in Shanghai, the Japanese Linimo in Nagoya, the Ecobee Rotem in South Korea, all are city transport maglev trains, offer impressive proof of this.

In some maglev systems, the drive mechanism lies in the guideway, so it doesn’t have to be carried in the vehicle. This is a radical departure from traditional transport systems of every other type. In addition, with maglev trains, propulsion power only needs to be provided for short stretches as the vehicle passes through an active propulsion section.

Maglev routes also do not “divide the landscape” as highways, train tracks and waterways typically do. Animals can cross under elevated maglev guideways, which they do without hesitation, and farmers can till the land undisturbed, as shown by observation and experience at the test facilities in Japan’s Yamanshi Prefecture and Germany’s Emsland town of Lathen.

There is a strong demand to design future rail route architecture more aesthetically and open, in contrast to the massive constructions of the past. This public concern will affect maglev trains as well as wheel/rail systems.