Source: https://www.slashgear.com/1114918/the-s ... verywhere/ Accessed 2022-11-25The hovertrain led to one unique offshoot that can still be seen today, however. The maglev train is essentially a hovertrain concept that uses magnets instead of air currents to lift the vehicle off the track and propel it along its voyage. Mustard notes that maglev trains were already in development while the hovertrain was being tested, and the efficiency of the electromagnets far outpaces the utility of air pressure used in the hovertrain footprint.
Still, maglev trains are a novelty rather than the rule. The maglev suffers from the same adoption woes that squeeze out other rail-based alternatives to the conventional train, but they do serve essential functionality in many use cases. China Highlights notes that the Shanghai Maglev (a train that this writer has taken many times) takes passengers from the city out to Pudong International Airport in just eight minutes. The train has reached a top speed of 311 mph over the 19 mile track, and delivers passengers to the international terminal rapidly, removing them from the mire of roadway traffic that would otherwise take roughly half an hour at best (via Rome2Rio).
The maglev is the obvious successor to the hovertrain concept that simply never stuck, but even this technology only provides a modest speed gain over the advancing technology in traditional rail. The competition has proven just too effective for alternative rail technologies to gain a lasting foothold, and the financial resources necessary to establish significant infrastructure aren't worth the cost.
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