High-speed ground transport can only be safe and efficient when it is completely separated from slower systems. The autonomy of a maglev running on its own infrastructure is hence an important system advantage that makes overall safety, efficiency and punctuality possible in high-speed maglev operations. The demand for compatibility or interoperability of high-speed rail transport with the operation of slower rail transport is based on traditional steel-wheel/rail planning and is no longer meaningful in this form today.
Vehicles with extremely different speeds on the same traffic path create a mutual hindrance and introduce mutual safety concerns. Safety clearances and time needs must therefore increase. Mixing slow transport with high-speed transport is clearly not advantageous economically for either system. This is equally true for all transport systems: bicycles on a freeway would be just as senseless as auto racing on cycling paths.
Combining rapid and slow transport systems creates a mutual hindrance and lowers the performance of the entire system. The operation of high-speed passenger trains should therefore be separated from freight trains and slower passenger transport. The Japanese Shinkansen train network has been completely separated from slower wheel/rail transport since 1964 and has operated fatality-free with incredible efficiency ever since.
The longer high speed running can be maintained, the better the performance will be, along with the cost effectiveness of the respective system. In this regard, maglev trains have the principle advantage through their independent routes and the automatic exclusion of mixed traffic.