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How Maglev Trains Work


The Shanghai maglev (magnetic levitation) train reaches a maximum normal operation speed of 268 miles per hour (431 km/h). Christian Petersen-Clausen/Moment/Getty Images
The Shanghai maglev (magnetic levitation) train reaches a maximum normal operation speed of 268 miles per hour (431 km/h). Christian Petersen-Clausen/Moment/Getty Images

It sounds like something straight out of science fiction -- gigantic train cars suspended inches above the ground by electromagnets, propelled hundreds of miles an hour down tracks that cost hundreds of millions of dollars. But what are maglev trains, and how does this magnetic levitation work? Listen in to learn more.

Topics in this Podcast: Japan, China