So far, the magnetic levitation trains have failed to establish themselves as alternative to traditional rail solutions. The only maglev worth mentioning runs between Pudong Airport and a subway station in Shanghai. And Elon Musk’s Hyperloop project, discussed with much fanfare, has not yet been realized anywhere.
Now, however, many signs indicate that the technology is about to get a fresh start. Though not as a high-speed means of transport for passengers, but as an option for carrying ocean
freight containers from and to highly frequented seaports. Because big harbors, suffocating under the avalanche of road traffic, are particularly interested in magnetic rail solutions to ease
their traffic situation and connect the hinterland.
Hamburg harbor, last October: a 40-foot container moves back and forth almost silently on a test track, guided, as if by magic, on an unmanned conveying system. A second steel box follows, gliding on a neighboring track to a nearby stop. Responsible for this public presentation was Bavarian manufacturer, Transport System Boegl Cargo, attracting attention with its maglev demonstration, and proving that the system has reached maturity.
Hamburg harbor, last October: a 40-foot container moves back and forth almost silently on a test track, guided, as if by magic, on an unmanned conveying system. A second steel box follows,
gliding on a neighboring track to a nearby stop. Responsible for this public presentation was Bavarian manufacturer, Transport System Boegl Cargo, attracting attention with its maglev
demonstration, and proving that the system has reached maturity.
Maglevs could replace trucks
The Boegl maglevs operate fully automated, and can carry up to 180 containers per hour at a maximum speed of 150 km/h. The system enables short circle times and efficient handling of goods. It especially proves its strength when it comes to transporting containers as efficiently as possible between ports and distribution centers in neighboring regions, thereby helping to relieve traffic jams, speed up flows, and reduce delivery times. Much sought-after solutions by many ports that face growing traffic congestions due to overstressed ground infrastructure.
Duisport and Nevomo inked MoU
Now, Duisport, the operator of the world’s largest inland port on the Rhine River, is also considering introducing a MagRail system by partnering with Nevomo, a Poland-based rail technology company. According to a report in RailFreight.com, published on 06MAY22, the two parties signed a MoU that targets the expansion of the port’s rail freight capacity by using hyperloop-inspired technologies. The platform cites Alexander Garbar, Head of Corporate Development and Strategy at Duisport, who was impressed with the transport solution: “Nevomo’s MagRail technology is a perfect fit for achieving our strategic goals and maximizing efficiency at Duisport. Increasing the capacity and flexibility of the existing network by maintaining full interoperability with existing operations is crucial to our business. We are excited to start our cooperation with such an innovative company as Nevomo,” said the Duisport manager.
Unlike the Boegl maglevs, Nevomo’s MagRail is a hybrid solution allowing for runs on a separate maglev guideway as well as conventional railroad tracks. This dual-use option, which allows fully automated driving, significantly reduces the cost of the required ground infrastructure. If introduced, it could become a sustainable alternative to conventional freight transport particularly by trucks and barges.
“We are very proud to have been chosen as a partner by Duisport. This is undoubtedly the best confirmation of the credibility of our technology we can get from the market and a confirmation of the huge need for this type of a mobility solution. We are very committed to supporting Duisport’s goals by implementing MagRail technology within the existing rail infrastructure to benefit the daily operations of the port,” underlines Stefan Kirch, Chief Business Development Officer at Nevomo.
In addition to Duisport, Nevomo has signed a similar agreement for the launch of its MagRail product with the Italian infrastructure manager, Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI).
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