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Forget Maglev, try a vacuum

Letters

I am intrigued to read of the proposal to run a Maglev train between Edinburgh and Glasgow (News, NCE, 26 April).

For some years Brunel ran a novel train propelled by the vacuum principle. Now suppose we turn that principle inside out and run the maglev train in a tube from which all air has been extracted.

The train would run in a vacuum without air resistance and would perhaps travel at twice the speed for half the energy expenditure.

Of course there would have to be airlocks at each end of the line and the train would have to be pressurised but the necessary technology has already been developed for the International Space Station.

Readers note: you read this suggestion first in NCE.

C F Elias, 4 Ashburton Road, West Kirby, Wirral, CH48 4ER

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