Maglev Trains vs MRT Trains
Increasing population and a rapid rate of increase in the number of automobiles on roads in big cities has created a situation where people have to spend a good part of their day trying to reach their destinations in time. Congested traffic, despite more roads, bridges and flyovers being made by authorities left no choice for commuters but to face delays daily in reaching their destinations. The problem was sought to be solved through MRT trains that moved on their specially created tracks within these cities. This pretty much solved the problem as these trains could move fast without any interruptions. Another innovation has been MAGLEV trains that have the capacity to move at incredibly high speeds. Though both are fast and efficient modes of transport, there are many differences in the concept, tracks, maintenance and speeds of these two train systems that will be discussed in this article.
MRT stands for Mass Rapid Transport and is also referred to variously as RTS or metro trains in different countries. While it was available in only a few select countries a few decades ago, today there are dozens of countries boasting of MRT trains in their metro cities. It is actually a railway system that consists of electrically moving trains that run on specially created tracks, mostly underground so that trains face no traffic and carry commuters in a very fast and efficient manner. The system cleverly avoids heavy traffic by moving these high speed trains either underground tracks or tracks that are elevated above ground levels. The system is so designed to develop a crisscross series of stations across the city so that MRT trains pass through all important places in the city. MRT trains need the support of an efficient bus service so that commuters, after dropping off the train can get to every nook and corner of the city.
These are another alternative for cars, buses, taxis, and even airplanes as MAGLEV, or magnetic levitation trains are the fastest moving trains in the world. These trains have the potential to be the system of transport in the 21st century just like airplanes were in the 20th century. Before moving ahead, let us see what the technology behind magnetic levitation is. MAGLEV trains move forward through magnetic propulsion that is provided with the help of large magnets attached to the underside of the train that runs at a super fast speed on a specially created track. MAGLEV trains use high powered electromagnets that make the train to float over the guide way or track at high speeds. This is made possible by the magnetic coil that runs along the track or guide way and repels the large magnets placed on the underside of the trains carriages. Once the train levitates about 1-10 cm above the ground, the train does not require any electric power for propulsion but through a unique system of magnetic push and pull that moves the train at incredibly high speeds. However, electric current is needed to constantly alternate the polarity of the magnetized coils. Thus, MAGLEV trains float on air and face no friction at all that is faced by all trains, including MRT trains that have to run on iron tracks.
Because of no friction and designing of the passenger cars in an aerodynamic manner, unbelievably high speeds have been achieved for MAGLEV trains. Developments and advancements in technology have allowed MAGLEV trains to touch speeds around 500kmph and scientists believe that it is possible in future to run these trains across great stretches connecting even 1000 miles apart cities. Imagine covering 1000 miles in less than two hours that is now possible only through airplanes.
Difference Between Maglev Trains and MRT Trains
• MRT trains run on underground and elevated tracks created for them while MAGLEV trains run, rather float on air above tracks created for them
• MRT trains run at high speeds of more than 100 mph. However, this is nothing in comparison to MAGLEV trains that have touched speeds of 310mph.
• Though MRT trains are more expensive than ordinary railway system as they need specially created tracks (mostly underground), MAGLEV are much more expensive because of need of magnetic levitation
• Because of absence of friction, there is no wear and tear of tracks and wheels in MAGLEV trains which is common in MRT trains
• MAGLEV trains are not affected by weather while MRT trains face stoppages with excessive rains and snowfall