Transportation is one of the most essential spheres of human’s life in such aspects as economic growth, communication, tourism, and utilization of space. Thence, it is very important for it to have minimal effect on the environment, be safe, cheap, comfortable, and fast in use. Conventional transport, such as trains and airplanes, causes a number of problems including air pollution, high amounts of energy consumption, huge need of maintenance, high prices, and risks of safety, thus not being efficient enough. Therefore, new generation of transport must correspond to definite requirements: be efficient, reliable, and environmentally sound. The technology of the new kind of transport - magnetically levitated trains – could be one of the major candidates to propose a solution for the present issues. The intention of this research paper is to argue that magnetically levitated trains could enhance present challenges of traditional transport. First, the essay is going to discuss the problems that are caused by traditional transport, next, it will provide data regarding magnetic levitation technology brief overview, and, then, it is going to suggest several factors that contribute to the improvement of the challenges linked with the conventional transportation by focusing on efficiency, safety and ecological impact.
Problems of the conventional transportation
Conventional transportation seems no longer to respond to the demands of efficient massive transportation of the modern world. The main drawback of the traditional wheel-on-rail transport is friction between train’s wheels and tracks, which decreases the efficiency of the vehicle. Due to that, railway trains are unable to achieve high velocities – even high speed rails that are designed to achieve 200 kmh, usually tend to move in 130 kmh (Holmer 2003). Apart from that, such technology produces an abundance of noise and dust, approximately 75-80 dB (Figure 1). Environmental contamination is also one of the pivotal issues, – European Commission (2009) claims that the amount of carbon dioxide emissions for trains is almost 17.6 gram per passenger-kilometer. Moreover, according to Figure 2, the amount of CO2 increases with the rise of speed. Conventional trains are also not efficient in economic aspect, since there is a demand for constant maintenance (Figure 1), such as periodic replacement of gear, wheels, rails, etc., which may lead to huge financial expenses.
Figure 1. Comparison of Maglev and Wheel-On-Rail Systems. Source: H.-W. Lee, Kim, and J. Lee 2006, 1917.
Figure 2. The Energy Consumption of a Train Calculated for Different Speeds and its CO2 -Emissions per Passengers. Source: Garcia, 2010, 41.
Air transport is constructed to be faster and more convenient than trains, however there are also several burdens that are associated with airplanes. The most important aircraft problem is vast fuel utilization - European Commission 2009 indicates that airplanes have huge CO2...