Magnovate - Maglev technology for the World

Magnovate Transportation

Magnovate Transportation Inc. was founded in 2013 to commercialize Magline, a patented magnetic levitation (maglev) technology, a green, quiet, and cost-efficient power system.

Magnovate founder is Edmonton entrepreneur Dan Corns.

Over the next 5 years Magnovate plans to execute a series of strategically timed projects for early adopters of this new technology. The Company proposes to progress over a period of years from building slow-speed systems ranging from $30-$200 million CAD to high-speed rail projects costing billions.

Magnovate is the lynchpin of a consortium that includes several multi-billion dollar international industrial leaders, Magna, Stantec, All-Trade Industrial Contractors, and Plenary Group who are assisting Magnovate with project delivery, marketing, financing, and global expansion.

The Consortium has contracted with the Toronto Zoo to build an elevated system at that facility as its first demonstration project. Magnovate will continue to pursue automated people mover (APM) opportunities especially where clients seeking contracts already own the rights-of-way. 

Marketing efforts will focus first on niche segments, primarily APMs and internal circulation systems for major activity centers (MACCS), then airport and other remote parking links, and commuter rail systems. In 3 to 5 years, the Company intends to compete for major rail contracts, shifting focus to the competitive advantages of its unique mix of high-speed capability, fast-switching capability, and lightweight guideway infrastructure and rolling stock.

We will look at the Magnovate in detail in several articles by utilizing company supplied information.

Competitive Advantages

Owing to the advantages of maglev suspension and drivetrains over conventional steel-on-steel and to Magline’s advancements over conventional maglev, Magnovate offers a range of competitive advantages. Chief among these are the following:

Magline replaces heavy trains pulled by locomotives with high capacity platoons of individual light weight vehicles that can run on light weight guideways and bridges
  • Light weight vehicles and infrastructure cost 80% less to build
  • Narrow transit corridors require 90% less land, dramatically reducing ROW costs

Magline replaces steel-on-steel pounding and fast wearing components with frictionless drives
  • Nearly eliminates mechanical wear because it has only a tiny fraction of the moving parts
  • 80% less to maintain
  • Enables condition-based, scheduled maintenance instead of fast-response failure repairs

Electric power translates into flexible fuel capability
  • Operators can power Magline with their choice of fossil fuels
  • Or switch to renewable resources such as solar, wind, and hydro
  • Consume 30% less energy

Magline passenger and freight vehicles move quietly
  • Protects farmlands with livestock and wild places under preservation restrictions
  • Planners can integrate Magline without compromising property values and livability

Fast magnetic switches eliminate expensive and slow mechanical switching
  • Facilitates high-throughput express service
  • On-demand service
  • Vastly improved routing flexibility

High speed operations improve convenience and attract more riders
  • Require far less rolling stock to achieve the same passenger throughput
  • Or significantly higher throughput capacity with the same number of vehicles
  • Shorter waiting times either way

Magline Technology

Magline is an on-demand mobility platform that abandons the railroad paradigm in favor of a networked packet switching model. The technology uses four different technology features to address various ground transit problems. The four are:

1. Maglev: For 40 years maglev trains have proven the feasibility of frictionless transport at near aircraft speeds on invisible magnetic waves.

2. Large Levitations Gaps: The large levitation gaps generated by Magnovate’s patented levitation system provide generous guideway settling tolerances which reduces infrastructure cost by eliminating the need for heavy precision guideways.

3. Instant Track Switching: Magline has the only passive and purely magnetic switching capability for maglev. This vastly expands the potential for building maglev “networks,” not just lines.

4. Automated Controls: Magline eliminates trains and instead quickly deploys automated single vehicles on demand. Automation increases performance and safety while greatly reducing operating cost. Without the need to carry operators or run “in train” (physically coupled cars), vehicles can be shrunk to a fraction of the size and weight of railroad vehicles with lower manufacturing cost per seat.

Taken together, combinations of these features transform maglev from a novelty propulsion system to a practical on-demand transportation platform. Magnovate deploys these proprietary improvements to unlock maglev’s original promise of speed, energy efficiency and route flexibility and it does so at greatly reduced infrastructure cost relative to traditional high speed rail and conventional maglev.

Magline Networks

Magline networks consist of computer controlled driverless vehicles of various sizes and configurations typically operated along an elevated guideway. Unlike conventional transit systems that operate as a line or loop, Magline networks connect multiple destinations over a larger service area via multiple paths (not necessarily in line).

Conventional trains stop at each station along their set route, according to a fixed schedule. People must wait for them. Stops delay everyone on the train, even those not using that station, and delay the trains behind them. As shown below, Magline networks have off-line stations (on short parallel guideways) so that vehicles with no disembarking passengers can bypass stations without stopping.

Each vehicle travels point-to-point in response to passenger demand (ticket purchase) and network loads, eliminating irrelevant stops along the way, with generally no fixed timetable. Magline vehicles thus wait for people. Computers optimize each vehicle’s routing to align with demand, eliminating heavy “trains.” Individual cars are much lighter and consequently the support infrastructure is also lighter, less expensive and faster to construct.

Multimodal Services 

Magline networks have excellent potential to attract customers running several different kinds of vehicles on the same tracks. For example, single cars (not linked into trains) with capacity for 50 passengers serve as the group rapid transit (GRT) component. 

During periods of peak demand 4-6 GRT vehicles will travel in platoons (virtual trains) and operate much like a conventional railway, with the added ability of individual vehicles to drop out of a platoon at any time to stop at a station, or to leave a station and join a passing platoon. Express vehicles that carry 2 to 6 passengers offer personal on-demand service in privacy and comfort.

Various freight designs can carry packages or accommodate bulk hauling. With fast travel speeds, instant switching and computerized controls these different modes utilize the same network and provide an attractive menu of services to attract a broader spectrum of travelers and shippers. 

Next article Part 2 - Magnovate Engineering

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