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Toronto's Forgotten Maglev Test Track - 1974 Go Urban Construction Photos

Rare Construction Photos from Go Urban  Maglev Test Track at Toronto Exhibition Grounds 1974

All eyes were on Ontario in 1973-74 as German firm Krauss-Maffeir had been awarded a $16 million contract by the government of Ontario to build an experimental single-track. The 2.5 mile elevated people moving magnetic levitation train track loop which would be ready for testing in 1974 and use in the summer of 1975.

Go Urban  Maglev Test Track Toronto
Building Test Track at Exhibition Grounds 1974

The German firm would set up a new company in Ontario to produce parts for the system, a company that would be 51% Canadian owned. Another part of the deal iwas the Ontario government gets potential valuable licensing rights in Canada for present and future intermediate capacity transit technology developed by Krauss-Maffeir. Ontario set up a special company to licence the rights Ontario Transportation Development Corp.

The test track would be at the Canadian Exhibition grounds. Maglev trains are lifted above a concrete guideway, propelled by electric linear inductions motors. There would be 12 passenger per car travelling at about 50 mph.

It all sounded to good to be true. A lot of faith was put into a technology that was unproven.

A reporter from the Toronto Financial Post in September, 1974 visited Germany to see the Krauss-Maffeir maglev and became suspicious. When asking to see the production facilities for the Go-Urban train, the company instead took him to see the production line of the Leopard tanks!

Back in Canada, work started on building the caissons for the test tracks at the exhibition grounds. High Speed Rail Canada has the only known photos of the track being built.

By November 23rd, 1974, The Financial post had reported that West German government had withdrawn support for Karuss-Maffei AG Munich, which was developing the maglev  urban commuter system for the Ontario government.

In Ontario, the project costs had risen from $16 to $25 million. Their had been reports of several braking and computerized control system problems with the train.

Another photo from GO Urban Test Track Site 1974

The test track, which $8 million of the $16 million had already been spent, was ordered not to be completed.

The Krauss-Maffier era of the Go-Urban automated guideway transit vehicle project came to an end.

Paul Langan