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What is a Maglev Train?

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This is a train which does not move on wheels. Maglev is a combination of two words, i.e., magnetic and levitation. These trains do not move on a track but float above it by means of magnetic repulsion. The magnetic power provides both lift and thrust for the train. It consumes very less power and reports very less friction as the train’s base and the track do not touch each other. It therefore cost lesser maintenance because there is less wear and tear. The ride is smooth too because there is no pounding against the rails.
Maglev trains can run very fast. The first such train operating between Shanghai and Pudong in China travels at a speed of 431 kilometres in an hour. It started running in January 2004. It cost the Chinese government 1.2 billion dollars to build this track and train. It is known as Shanghai Transrapid. So far it is the fastest train in the world. It has been built by German companies Siemens and ThyssenKrupp.