Berlin to test a new futuristic magnetic levitation train
Look out, Berlin, the future is heading your way! City authorities have just approved a test phase for a super-futuristic magnetic levitation (maglev) train.
Magnetic train lines to be tested in Berlin
A five- to seven-kilometre test track is set to be built in Germany’s capital city, according to CDU parliamentary group leader Dirk Stettner, who heads the city’s government in coalition with the SPD party. The new line in Berlin will be operated autonomously - meaning no drivers in sight - and will transport both people and goods. The project is set to cost around 80 million euros and will be financed with the city’s special climate fund.
Maglev trains are levitated across a guideway using magnetic forces. This gives them a number of advantages, including higher speeds, lower maintenance costs and lower noise levels. They also use less electricity than standard U-Bahn lines and save space, as they can be built over obstacles like canals, rivers and roads and motorways without the need for huge additional infrastructure projects.
According to Stetner, a magnetic levitation train is comparatively cheap to build and can be implemented more quickly than other types of public transportation, like U-Bahn and S-Bahn lines.
The Senate is currently scouting test track locations in Berlin
A working group comprising of experts from the BVG, the Senate and transport providers have been working on the project for several months and are currently scouting out potential routes for the line. As yet, it has not been announced where the test track will be built, or when exactly construction will start.
This is not the first time a magnetic levitation train has been proposed for Berlin. All the way back in 1984, a so-called M-Bahn ran between Gleisdreieck in Kreuzberg and Kemperplatz in Tiergarten, under the supervision of the BVG, the main transport association in Berlin. However, after the Berlin Wall came down, the facilities were dismantled to make room for an expansion of the U2 line.