If you have seen magnets in your life than you need no introduction regarding the power or force they have in themselves when they comes in contact with either another magnet or iron. In this article we will see how scientists had used this force in trains.

Since we developed steam engines we tried to improve the speed and efficiency of our trains. In the search of speed, we found that the biggest hurdle one can have while achieving great speeds is friction. Friction not only puts limitation on speed but also increases maintenance cost if run trains at too high as speed. Maglev is a way where we can float the object in the air reduce the friction to the bare minimum because of the force of magnetic field. In this project we will discuss how we can use this force to not only hung our train in air but to move it forward with the same force.

As I was doing research about this project, I have found couple of science fair projects on youtube and on other platforms, exactly as shown below where students are showing that how we can lift the object or train using magnetic levitation but to move them forward some students are using their own force or others are using windmill or electrical source. These projects are for school kids, who can build these project easily with the material available online and this will enhance their knowledge  too.


Main advantage with maglev train is its levitation due to which it stays away from its track with the help of magnets and reduce friction significantly when it moves forward. In this post we will discuss about this train in detail.

While looking for more information online, I have found one interesting video which not only demonstrate maglev train running but cover each and every important point to build one for your self. The best thing I found about shown video is that how much effort has been done here to make the train surrounding beautiful.

What is magnetic levitation?
It is a method by which an object is suspended with no support other than magnetic fields.We have already seen in maglev train project that how we can use it for our benefit.This technology is very important because it eliminates losses occurred by friction.Other than trains, it can be used for magnetic bearings and high-precision platforms.It has three important parts first is levitation or suspension, second is propulsion, and third one is guidance.

How to build one?

Build your own simple magnetic train !

Concepts:

Halbach
This is done with the help of permanent magnets arranged in a way that cancels the magnetic field of other side. These arrangments are called Halbach arrays.The train consists of at least two sets of Halbach arrays. One is used to lavitate train and other is used for propulsion.

If a small magnet is brought near a superconductor, it will be repelled because induced super currents will produce mirror images of each pole. If a small permanent magnet is placed above a superconductor, it can be levitated by this repulsive force.

Though magnetic levitation is difficult to implement , it works on the simple concept of magnetic property that is opposite attracts and like repel. So, this train and it rails were designed in such a way that each and every time half magnets push it forward and half pull towards it.  
For Propulsion you can use Linear Sequence motors which instead of producing a torque (rotation), produces a linear force along its length.
As this topic involves lot of concepts and understanding. I am sharing many useful links below which will help you in understanding and building your own maglev train.
How to build One?

Useful Links:
Experiments with magnets interacting with other magnets : This is a great demonstration of like poles repelling each other. We have a platform which floats above a pair of magnetic tracks, and can be gently pushed to one end or the other.

Related to Maglev Project :-

WikiPedia Maglev Details
Introduction of Levitation
Topics:
Magnetic Levitation Design Project
Low cost Magnetic Levitation Projects: Using inexpensive experiments to teach analysis and design in undergraduate feedback courses
Levitation with super conductors

Modeling and Control of a Magnetic Levitation System(Click here)
The real levitation
Magnetic levitation kangaroo
Magnetic Train eBooks :-
Maglev Train Activity
Constructing a Inductrack Maglev
Magnetic Leviated Train Questions
Block Diagram

Paper Presentation on Maglev Train Project

Igert Maglev
( pdf )
Maglev Train ppt
Design and construction of a Hybrid Locomotive using Magnetic Levitation (ppt)