Perspectives for Magnetic Levitation Technologies in the Russian Arctic



Considering how huge need for cargo transportation is today, including in the northern regions, we believe that maglev is a promising technology, which could facilitate regional development, commented Sergei Smirnov, general director of the Maglevtech company, in an interview with Monocle.

The potential of using maglev in the Arctic is yet to be revealed. It seems reasonable to organize the movement of individual platforms and their trains in a tunnel, for example, like it is used under the English Channel, which is expected to minimize the costs of route maintenance and operation. Over relatively short distances, cargo can be transported by suspended maglev transport.

What's the advantage?

First of all, the cost of operating a maglev line is significantly lower than traditional trains;

Second, flexible adjusting of infrastructure to the relief of the area and the location;

Third, low volumes of infrastructure maintenance with high bandwidth;

Forth, no wear from physical contact;

Last but not least, this is environment-friendly technology.

However, maglev is not the alternative mean of transport to the railway. It is being developed in parallel, which can effectively complement the country’s transport system.

In general, everything is ready to test the innovation at the test site, resulting in Russian maglev transport technology. Experts say that the construction of testing ground will take one-two years. All that remains is to decide on the location. It is really important since all the maglev lines available in the world today are passenger lines, and Russia decided to start with cargo lines as the most relevant within geopolitical landscape nowadays.

The development of domestic cargo Maglev transport is carried out by the St. Petersburg State University of Transport. Currently, a cargo Maglev platform prototype with a 12-meter container has been established. Preliminary assessments show that the appropriate speed is from 90 to 120 km/h for an industrial maglev line stretching up to 10 km. In total, 20 patents by Rosmaglev technology have been granted, and more than 30 patents next in turn.

The editorial board of The Arctic Century