Superconducting Magnet for Magnetically Levitated Vehicle

  • M. Yamaji
  • H. Nakashima


In March, 1987, the prototype MLU001 magnetically levitated (maglev) vehicle using superconducting magnets made its debut on Miyazaki Test Track of the Railway Technical Research Institute. Since then repeated tests have confirmed the MLU002’s high speed running capability over 300 km/h. The most important component of maglev transportation is the superconducting magnet on which development was started in 1970, and whose performance has since been continually improved in parallel with the progress of superconducting technology.

In particular, a number of developments here have contributed to continuing this progress:
  1. (1)

    Development of intrinsically stabilized superconducting wire, improvement of epoxy impregnated coils, coil mounting and inner vessel construction have led to superconducting coils of high current density and high magnetomotive force.

  2. (2)

    Along with the development of the superconducting coils, improvements of construction methods, heat insulation techniques, supports and current leads have led to reduced weight and size with low heat leakage.

  3. (3)

    Development of a small onboard refrigerator system which pre-cools the superconducting magnet, and maintains the liquid helium reserves, liquefying the vaporized helium.

  4. (4)

    Development of a high resistance persistent current switch has enabled high speed energizing and de-energizing of the superconducting magnet to improve the magnet operation.


As a result of these development steps, the stage for manufacturing the superconducting magnet for future operation line use is near.


Electromagnetic Force Test Vehicle Levitation Force Superconducting Magnet Magnetic Levitation 
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    H.Tanaka, “Maglev Approaches toward Practical Use”, Japanese Railway Engineering, pp2~6, No.102, June 1987.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Japan 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Yamaji
    • 1
  • H. Nakashima
    • 2
  1. 1.Toshiba CorporationFuchu, Tokyo, 183Japan
  2. 2.Railway Technical Research InstituteKokubunji, Tokyo, 185Japan

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