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FTA awards $6.3 million to maglev developer

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) recently awarded a $6.3 million grant to MagneMotion Inc. to continue developing a magnetic levitation (maglev) system.

The electro-magnetic technology development firm will work with Old Dominion University (ODU) to further develop its MagneMotion Maglev (M3™) technology. MagneMotion previously led one of the five projects originally funded by the FTA to develop technical approaches for urban maglev transportation.

“We made significant breakthroughs with our previous FTA award, and look forward to extending our development efforts to demonstrate multiple test vehicles traveling at operational speeds,” said MagneMotion Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard Thornton in a prepared statement.

Under an 18-month initial phase, MagneMotion and the Norfolk, Va., university will design and analyze a 170-foot-long prototype maglev track to be constructed at or near MagneMotion’s Acton, Mass., facilities. The M3 system will be installing and testing a 500-foot system on the ODU campus. The maglev technology will be installed on part of an existing elevated guideway built at ODU in 2002 for an unrelated maglev development effort. If the test is successful and additional funding is provided, ODU’s maglev line will become operational.

The M3 system uses a magnetic structure to suspend, guide and propel vehicles traveling up to 100 mph.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/15/2008