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Types of Maglev

The top illustration shows how magnetic attraction will suspend a vehicle in the Transrapid system planned to run between Orlando airport to a point near Epcot Center in Florida.

The vehicle's carriage, or bogie, structure wraps under a guide rail. When energized, support magnets pull this carriage up toward the guide rail. This suspends the vehicle away from the track with clearance of a fraction of an inch. Other guidance magnets maintain sideway clearance, keeping the vehicle stable.

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The bottom diagram illustrates vehicle suspension using magnetic repulsion. This system allows a vehicle to be suspended with a clearance of several inches. Japan is planning to build a maglev system linking Tokyo and Osaka using this type of magnetic suspension.