Hermann Kemper contemplates an electromagnetically levitated train
(the principle of levitation using electromagnets in the track).
14. August 1934
Kemper receives a patent for the magnetic levitation of trains (DPR
The HSB study group (Bölkow KG, Strabag Bau AG, Deutsche Bundesbahn)
begins investigating the development
and application of high performance, high speed rail systems under
contract to the Federal Ministry of Transport. The high performance,
high speed rail study (HSR study) is completed in 1972.
Presentation of the first person-carrying, principle vehicle by
MesserschmittBölkow-Blohm (MBB) on the 660 m (0.4 mile) long
test track at the company facilities in Ottobrunn.
of the Transrapid 02 by Krauss Maffei.
utilize electromagnetic (EMS) levitation and guidance systems with
an asynchronous short-stator motor for propulsion.
Commissioning of the Transrapid 03, an alternative air cushion vehicle,
by Krauss Maffei.
begins on an electrodynamic levitation system (EDS- repulsive system)
using superconducting coils by a project group consisting of AEG-Telefunken,
BBC, and Siemens. Construction of a 900 m (0.6 mile) long, round,
test track in Erlangen and construction of the Erlangen Test Vehicle
(EET 01) by MAN occurs.
Commissioning of the Transrapid 04 by Krauss Maffei.
Thyssen Henschel and the Technical University of Braunschweig begin
the development work on longstator propulsion for magnetic levitation
and commissioning of the unmanned component test unit (KOMET) by
MBB continues at the company facilities in Manching.
Development, commissioning, and operation of the first functional
facility for longstator maglev technology begins with the test platform
HMB 1 at the company facilities of Thyssen Henschel in Kassel.
Commissioning of the Test Vehicle EET 02 at the Erlangen round test
track. The vehicle utilizes electrodynamic (EDS) levitation with
a synchronous motor for propulsion.
of the world's first passenger-carrying, longstator test vehicle
HMB 2 at the company facilities of Thyssen Henschel in Kassel.
After extensive comparative analysis, the Federal Minister of Research
and Technology (BMFT) decides in favor of the electromagnetic levitation
system (EMS) with longstator linear motor propulsion. The research
on the electrodynamic (EDS) levitation system (Erlangen Test Vehicle)
The "Magnetbahn Transrapid" consortium is formed (MBB as
lead company, Thyssen, AEG, BBC, Siemens, Dynidag, and Krauss Maffei)
and definition work begins on the Transrapid Test Facility (TVE).
Operation of the world's first maglev train with longstator propulsion
(Transrapid 05) to be licensed for passenger transportation occurs
at the International Transportation Exhibition (IVA 79) in Hamburg.
During the three week exhibition, the Transrapid 05 carries more than
50 000 passengers in scheduled operation.
Construction begins on the guideway at the Transrapid Test Facility
in Emsland (TVE) and on the test vehicle Transrapid 06.
The Versuchs- und Planungsgesellschaft für Magnetbahnsysteme
(MVP) is formed in Munich. The parent companies today are the Deutsche
Bahn (DB AG) and Deutsche Lufthansa (LH). The MVP is owner and operator
the TVE with the day-to-day test work being subcontracted to the Industrieanlagenbetriebsgesellschaft
Commissioning of the Transrapid 06 begins.
consists of two sections with a total length of 54 m (177 ft), 102
t vehicle weight, 192 seats, electromagnetic levitation and guidance
system, propulsion using a synchronous longstator linear motor,
power generation for the on-board supply using linear generators,
and 400 km/h (250 mph) design speed.
Completion and commissioning of the first portion of the Transrapid
Test Facility in Emsland (TVE).
Test runs with the Transrapid 06 begin and a speed of 302 km/h (188
mph) is reached.
preparation of the second portion of the TVE begin (southern loop).
The TVE is officially transferred to the MVP (final acceptance).
The Transrapid 06 achieves a speed of 355 km/h (220 mph) on the
portion of guideway available at the Test Facility.
Work on the
second portion of the TVE guideway begins. The southern loop has
a length of approx. 10 km (6.2 miles) and is built with Thyssen
Henschel as general contractor.
Construction and commissioning of the southern loop of the Transrapid
Test Facility is completed. A closed circuit with two loops and
a total length of 31.5 km (19.6 miles) is now available for long-term
operation under conditions
similar to actual applications.
The Transrapid 06 reaches a speed of 392 km/h (244 mph).
work on the Transrapid 07, the prototype application vehicle designed
for speeds of up to 500 km/h (310 mph), begins at Thyssen Henschel
The Transrapid 06 surpasses its own design speed on numerous runs
and sets a new world record of 412.6 km/h (256 mph) for passenger-carrying,
tests under near-application conditions begin with the Transrapid
06 at the TVE.
07 is presented for the first time in public at the International
Transportation Exhibition (IVA 88) in Hamburg. The vehicle is subsequently
put into long-term operation at the TVE.
07 consists of two sections with a total length
of 51 m (167 ft), 92 t vehicle weight, electromagnetic levitation
and guidance system, propulsion using a synchronous longstator linear
motor, nominal 10 mm (0.4 in) air gap, power generation for the
on-board supply using linear generators, and 300 - 500 km/h (185
310 mph) operating speed.
15 December 1989
The Transrapid 07 achieves a speed of 436 km/h (271 mph) and thereby
establishes a new world record for passenger-carrying maglev vehicles.
After extensive tests and analyses, the Deutsche Bundesbahn in cooperation
with renowned universities approves the technical readiness for application
of the Superspeed Maglev System Transrapid. This achieves the prerequisite
for inclusion of this new train system in the Federal Transportation
Master Plan and allows planning and approval work for application
routes in Germany to begin. With this certification, the basic development
of the superspeed maglev system is considered to be completed.
15 July 1992
The Federal Government decides to include the Transrapid maglev system
route Berlin-Hamburg in the Federal Transportation Master Plan. The
nearly 285 km long connection between Germany's two largest cities
had shown itself to be particularly attractive in an extensive investigation
of potential routes. The use of the maglev system will reduce the
travel time to less than one hour (with three intermediate stops).
The Magnetschnellbahn Berlin-Hamburg GmbH is formed by Daimler Benz
AG/AEG AG, Siemens AG, and Thyssen Industrie AG, to realize the
Transrapid maglev route Berlin-Hamburg.
10 June 1993
Under normal operating conditions, the Transrapid 07 achieves a
new world speed record of 450 km/h (280 mph) at the Transrapid Test
Facility. Just a few days earlier, the Transrapid achieves a non-stop
distance of over 1 664 km (1034 miles) during a series of endurance
runs. This is equivalent to a trip from Hamburg to Rome.
The Magnetschnellbahn Berlin-Hamburg GmbH in conjunction with renowned
banks, presents the "Concept for the Financing and Private
Sector Operation of the Transrapid Maglev Route Berlin-Hamburg"
to the government. For the first time in German transportation history,
this financing concept proposes the financing of a major infrastructure
project without significant impact on the public budget. The concept
foresees a private sector operation of the route and a reimbursement
of the governments investment for the guideway through leasing
payments by a private Operations Company.
2 March 1994
The government approves the realization of the Transrapid Maglev
Route Berlin-Hamburg based on the financing concept proposed by
the private sector partners.
The Maglev Systems Planning Law is passed by the Federal Parliament
which establishes the legal prerequisites required for the official
planning of the Berlin-Hamburg Project. This law defines the planning
process required for maglev routes in Germany and is thereby analogous
to the existing planning laws for highways and railroads.
The Maglev System Planning Company is formed in Schwerin. Government
and private industry are equally represented in the company. The
Planning Company will coordinate the legal planning and approval
process of the world's first Transrapid route between Berlin and
Revenue operation begins at the Transrapid Test Facility in Emsland
with visitors paying DM 20 per person for the opportunity to experience
the worlds fastest train ride (open to the general public).
To meet the growing visitor demand, an expanded schedule is introduced
with up to 8 visitor rides per day, 6 days a week.
Transrapid International GbR is formed by Daimler-Benz AG/AEG AG
(later through the fusion with ABB, the name is changed to Adtranz),
Siemens AG, and Thyssen Industrie AG, to promote and coordinate
the world-wide marketing and project activities of the Transrapid.
The Executive Board of Deutsche Bahn AG (German Railways) officially
approves the participation of DB AG in the project as an equity
shareholder (DM 300 million) in the Operations Company and as the
future operator of the Transrapid route.
The Planning Company officially presents its recommendation for
the Transrapid route alignment between Berlin and Hamburg. This
alignment, chosen from 13 alternatives (including the alignment
used for the financing concept), will be the preferred alignment
for the public legal planning process. The selection was based on
a detailed investigation of all route alternatives including alignment
difficulties, environmental impact, city entrances/exits, station
locations, ridership, investment/operating costs, and revenue potential.
alignment consists of 292 km of double track (55% at-grade, 45%
elevated), 5 stations, and 11 propulsion system substations. A one
hour trip time (with intermediate stops), a maximum revenue speed
of 450 km/h, and ridership volume 23% higher than the original financing
concept route are anticipated. With the preferred alignment, the
preliminary planning phase is completed (map scale 1:25 000).
The German Parliament overwhelmingly passes the General Maglev Systems
Law and the Maglev Systems Requirements Law, the second and third
pieces of legislation required to implement the Transrapid Project
Berlin-Hamburg. The General law covers theoperating and safety regulations
for maglev systems as well as the regulating authorities and the
Requirements law defines thenecessity of the maglev system for the
route, the premises upon which the decision was based, and the procedures
for the public legal planning process at the town and county level.
The Regional Planning Process phase (ROV: Raumordnungsverfahren)
officially begins. In this first phase of the public legal planning
process, the project and route are scrutinized on a regional level
by the government, state, and local departments and authorities
involved in infrastructure projects (map scale 1:5 000).
Thyssen presents a full size model of the newest Transrapid generation
at the Hannover Fair. The Transrapid 08, a 3-section, passenger
train similar to those foreseen for the Berlin-Hamburg route, will
be built on pre-production tooling in the Thyssen Transrapid System
GmbH plant in Kassel. It will commence operation at the Test Facility
in Emsland in 1999 and be used to achieve the type approval certification
required for the Berlin-Hamburg Project. Designed for 550 km/h operation,
the new train will be lighter, more aerodynamic, quieter, and more
economical than its predecessor, the Transrapid 07.
German Transport Minister Wissmann announces that the first of the
two project economic viability evaluations has successfully been
completed and that the government fully supports the continuation
of the project. Included in the evaluation were new ridership/revenue
estimates as well as revised investment and operating cost estimates
based on the preferred alignment and the current project layout
for lower ridership and revenue figures, the operations concept
for the route is revised and the initial delivery contents downsized
to reflect the lower figures. At the same time, a marginal rise
in the investment costs reflect the longer preferred alignment,
the current planning level, and the updating of project costs from
1993 to 1996 DM. Overall, the investment costs now total DM 9.983
billion with DM 6.269 billion for the guideway infrastructure and
DM 3.713 billion for the trains, propulsion/energy supply, and supporting
equipment and facilities. A restructuring of the original 1993 public/private
financing concept is required before the German Government pledges
its continued political and financial support.
In this restructuring,
Adtranz, Siemens, and Thyssen continue as equity partners in the
financing consortium and Deutsche Bahn AG (DB AG) replaces the three
construction companies previously involved in the project. In addition
to its original role as operator of the Berlin-Hamburg route, DB
AG will also serve as general contractor for the guideway infrastructure
and stations. The Government will continue to finance the guideway
infrastructure with an interest-free loan to DB AG. A private financing
consortium with Adtranz, Siemens, and Thyssen as main partners will
fund the remainder of the project. The public and private investors
will be reimbursed for their contributions by DB AG over the course
of the financing period.
With the submittals of the states of Berlin and Brandenburg, the
Regional Planning Process phase (ROV) is officially completed. Together
with the reports of the states of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (January),
Hamburg (March), and Schleswig-Holstein (April), the planning now
enters the Concept Design Planning phase (REP: Rahmenentwurfsplanung).
In this phase, the planning documents will be scrutinized internally
by the authorities for technical and economic issues.
The German Parliament passes the Maglev Systems Ordinance which
defines the requirements for the construction and operation of maglev
systems as well as designates the Federal Railway Administration
(Eisenbahn Bundesamt) responsible for overseeing and certifying
the required activities. Divided into three parts, the law includes
ordinances for construction and operation, for noise protection
standards, and for noise protection measures. With passage of this
law, the legal framework required for the realization of Transrapid
routes in Germany is completed.
The total Transrapid mileage at the Test Facility in
Emsland surpasses the 500 000 km (310 000 miles) mark. Since 1991,
over 156 000 passengers have taken the opportunity to ride the Transrapid
at speeds up to 420 km/h (260 mph) with many times that number visiting
5 May 1998
Transrapid International GmbH & Co. KG (TRI) is formed in Berlin
as a joint company of Adtranz, Siemens, and Thyssen. TRI will be
the primary customer contact and provide system engineering, project
management, marketing, and maintenance support services for the
Transrapid Maglev System.
The Concept Design Planning phase (REP) for the first route segments
is completed and they move into the last planning phase, the Plan
Determination Process phase (PF: Planfeststellungsverfahren, map
scale 1:1 000). All planning segments are expected to enter this
final phase by the end of the year. Only after completion of this
phase can construction permits be granted for a given segment.
The ground breaking ceremony for the new Lehrter Train Station occurs
in Berlin. This multi-modal station will serve as the end station
for the Transrapid in Berlin as well as being a hub for ICE, regional,
and suburban (S-Bahn) trains.
The newly-elected Red Green coalition Government
officially pledges its commitment to the Transrapid technology and
the Berlin-Hamburg Project. This commitment reaffirms the original
commitments as defined in the Key Points Paper signed
by the project partners in April 1997. In this agreement, each side
committed to financing their portion of the costs - DM 6.1 billion
from the Government for the infrastructure (via DB AG) and DM 3.7
billion from the private sector partners for the operating system
(supporting equipment and trains).
TRI forms Transrapid
International-USA (TRI-USA), a wholly-owned subsidiary in the United
States. Based in Washington DC, TRI-USA will be the local partner
for all projects involving Transrapid technology in the US. Its
primary activities will include marketing, government relations,
and project and planning support. The formation of this subsidiary
reflects the growing interest in the US to realize transportation
projects using the Transrapid technology, as demonstrated by the
inclusion of the Maglev Deployment Program in the 1998 TEA-21 infrastructure
the total Transrapid mileage at the Test Facility in
Emsland surpasses the 600 000 km mark. The number of paying passengers
now totals over 220 000.
Late Spring 1999
The Berlin-Hamburg Project contract negotiations between the German
Federal Government, DB AG, and TRI resume (they were broken off
in Summer 1998 due to the upcoming federal election). These contracts
will regulate all aspects of the procurement,construction, operation,
and financing of the project (including guarantees, responsibilities,
risk assessment, etc.). In preparation for these negotiations, all
investment, operating, and maintenance costs are updated to reflect
the changes in the project since the last economic viability evaluation
(1997). The signing of these contracts will clear the way for construction
to begin in the year 2000.
Installation of new equipment at the Transrapid Test Facility continues.
These improvements will support the final type approval certifications
required for the Berlin-Hamburg Project. These include a second
propulsion system substation in the northern loop, an upgrading
of the operation control system with new equipment, antennas along
the route and software, and improved guideway switch control equipment.
Commissioning begins on a new 3-way guideway switch at the Thyssen
Transrapid System plant in Kassel. This 78 m long, low speed switch
with 100 km/h turn-out speed, utilizes a flexible, steel guideway
beam with rack and pinion drives. Designed to access three different
tracks, it will be used extensively in the Berlin-Hamburg Project.
It will undergo approx. 6 months of controlled-environment testing
in Kassel in preparation for the type approval certification work.
The Transrapid 08 (TR08) is delivered to the Transrapid Test Facility.
This 3 section, pre-production, Berlin-Hamburg train is 79.70 m
long, weighs 188.50 t, and has first and second class seating for
190+ passengers. Designed for 550 km/h operation, the TR08 carries
Deutsche Bahn colors and has all of the amenities found on a modern
high speed train (including toilets, overhead baggage racks, and
pressure-sealed passenger compartments). Commissioning of the TR08
is completed in late Fall 1999. The TR08 has been built primarily
for the type approval certification work for the Berlin-Hamburg
Project as well as being an attraction for the World Expo 2000 Exhibition
in Hannover in Summer 2000.
On 10. August, a new hybrid (concrete/steel) beam is installed into
the canal (straight) portion of the Test Facility. This new combination
concrete and steel beam resulted from the Berlin-Hamburg guideway
bidding process and holds promise of becoming the third beam type
available for project use (after pure steel and pure concrete).
The 62 m long, double span beam weighs approx. 350 t and has a pre-stressed,
post-tensioned, reinforced concrete body and bolted-on, steel cantilever
areas (functional surfaces). It will undergo extensive testing during
Fall 1999 with the ultimate goal of type approval certification
in the year 2000.
The Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology and Transrapid
International sign a Letter of Intent with the goal
of selecting an appropriate Transrapid route in China as well as
investigating its implementation from technical and economic viewpoints.
The plan determination process record of decision for the first
planning segment of the Berlin-Hamburg route is released (required
for the approval of construction permits).
On 5. February, German Government, Deutsche Bahn AG, and the industrial
partners sign an Agreement to cancel the Berlin-Hamburg Project.
The decision to cancel the project came after months of negotiations
between the partners and numerous attempts to improve the projects
financial viability did not bring the desired effect. The cancellation
was ultimately due to the lack of political will and to difficulties
in the financing of the publicly-financed portion of the project.
At the time of cancellation, the project was less than 6 months
away from start of construction. Revenue service was planned to
begin in 2006.
the Spring, an intensive search begins to identify regional transportation
projects appropriate for the Transrapid technology and to determine
their viability. Five projects are identified and feasibility studies
- Berlin Lehrter
Train Station Berlin Schönefeld Airport (28 km / 17
- Munich Main
Train Station Munich Airport (37 km / 23 miles)
Main Train Station Düsseldorf Airport Duisburg
Essen Bochum Dortmund (all train stations) (78
km / 48.5 miles) with extension to Dortmund Köln/Bonn
Airport Hahn Airport (108 km / 67 miles) with extension
to Frankfurt Main Train Station
- Hamburg Main
Train Station Bremen Train Station Groningen (Netherlands)
(289 km / 180 miles)
30 June 2000
The City of Shanghai and Transrapid International sign an agreement
for a joint feasibility study to be conducted for the route between
the new Pudong International Airport and downtown Shanghai.
2 July 2000
The Chinese Prime Minister, Zhu Rongji, the Mayor of Shanghai, Xu
Kuangdi, and a VIP delegation are hosted by the German Minister
of Transport, Reinhard Klimmt at the Transrapid Test Facility and
ride the Transrapid 08 at 400 km/h (250 mph).
Between June and October, the Transrapid Test Facility is a satellite
exhibition center for the World Expo 2000 in Hannover. The Transrapid
08 carries 67 000 paying passengers on 566 trips, traveling a total
of 43 600 km (27 100 miles).
In July, the total Transrapid mileage at the Test Facility
in Emsland surpasses the 700 000 km (435 000 miles) mark. The number
of paying passengers now totals over 250 000.
An Agreement is signed by the German Government, Deutsche Bahn,
and the industrial partners for the retention and optimization of
the Transrapid technology for use in a future application. This
agreement commits Government funding for personnel, technology work
related to regional applications, and the Test Facility for two
years until a new revenue application is approved in Germany.
The German Minister of Transport, Reinhard Klimmt and the US Secretary
of Transportation, Rodney Slater sign a Memorandum of Cooperation
(MOC) for the Transrapid maglev technology. The intent of the MOC
is to foster cooperation between the two countries on safety and
environmental standards for the operation of the Transrapid maglev
system and an information and experience exchange to facilitate
the near-term implementation of the Transrapid in revenue operation
in both countries. The MOC provides additional support for the US
Maglev Deployment Program. This program, created in 1998 by the
US Congress, budgets one billion dollars for the planning and construction
of one or more maglev projects. The Transrapid technology is foreseen
for six of the seven projects currently in planning.
The German Minister of Transport, Reinhard Klimmt and the Ministers-President
of Bavaria, Edmund Stoiber and of North Rhine-Westfalia (NRW), Wolfgang
Clement sign an agreement for in-depth studies of the Munich and
NRW Metrorapid projects. These two projects were chosen for further
planning with the goal of implementing one or both projects. The
studies are to be completed by early 2002 and a final decision on
the project(s) to be built is expected in Summer 2002.
18 January 2001
The US Secretary of Transportation, Rodney Slater announces that
the Baltimore-Washington and Pennsylvania Projects have been selected
for the next planning/engineering phase (short list).
Each project will receive approx. US$10.5 million to complete the
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and preliminary engineering
work foreseen in this two year phase.
The construction contract for the worlds first commercial
high-speed maglev route, the Shanghai Airport Link is signed. The
30 km (19 miles), double track route extends from a subway station
on the East side of Shanghai to the Pudong International Airport.
Construction will begin in February with demonstration operation
foreseen in January 2003 and commercial operation foreseen inearly
2004. The project partners are the City of Shanghai and the German
industrial consortium consisting of Siemens, ThyssenKrupp, and Transrapid
International. The Chinese will supply the guideway infrastructure,
stations, and operating facilities and the German industrial consortium
will supply the Transrapid maglev technology (vehicles, propulsion,
operation control system, and individual guideway components).
The German Government releases preliminary planning contracts for
the NRW Metrorapid and Munich Airport Link Projects.
The total Transrapid
mileage at the Test Facility in Emsland surpasses the
728 000 km (450 000 miles) mark. The number of paying passengers
now totals over 330 000.
Construction begins in Shanghai on the construction road along the
Construction begins in Shanghai on the guideway beam factory located
mid-way along the route. This 1.8 km (1.1 mile) long factory will
produce approx. 2600 hybrid guideway beams with a rate of 10 beams/day
over the one year production period. Approx. 1700 workers will be
employed on 16 production lines. The first production prototype
beam is foreseen for July.
The parent companies of Transrapid International, Siemens, ThyssenKrupp,
and Adtranz reach an agreement to allow Adtranz to formally withdraw
from the joint company. Long anticipated, this action was precipitated
by the DaimlerChryslers sale of Adtranz to Bombardier.
Transportation Research Board annual meeting attendees get update
on Shanghai project and see photos of a maglev route in the advanced
stages of construction. Project is on schedule and expected to be
conducting test trials fall of 2002, with operations to begin January
German Transport Minister, Kurt Bodewig, announces selection of
two sites for Transrapid maglev construction: Düsseldorf to
Dortmund in Rhineland-Westphalia, and an airport connector in Munich,
At 10:10 am local
time on New Year’s Eve, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder
joins Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji, along with other dignitaries and
journalists for the ceremonial debut run of the Transrapid Shanghai
Project. The three-section vehicle reaches its design speed of 430
km/h (267 mph) during the round-trip between Long Yang Road Station
and Pudong International Airport.
At part of scheduled testing and commisioning, the Shanghai maglev
system reaches a record speed of 471 km/h (293 mph) using a three-section
trainset. To date the project has carried over 170,000 paying passengers
since public demonstration runs began in January.
On November 12, a five-section Transrapid vehicle sets a new speed
record of 501 km/h (311 mph) as part of scheduled testing in Shanghai.
The speed is the highest reached by the Shanghai project to date
and establishes a new demonstrated top speed for the Transrapid
The Shanghai project commences revenue service seven days per week.
The Shanghai Transrapid System achieves final acceptance, officially ending the commissioning period and beginning full commercial service.
The Transrapid system in Shanghai continues successful revenue operations. To date, the system has carried over 2,500,000 paying passengers and traveled over 1,287,000 km (800,000 miles).