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Privileged position

Letters

I was surprised to read in Alan Sparks' report that the Maglev system 'proved to be a flop' (NCE 14 January).

I had the privilege of being the consultant's director in charge of the civil construction.

Right from the opening the system was a resounding success, running without major problem for several years.

It was, and still is, the world's first commercially operating Maglev system. Together with GEC we tried to market the system worldwide, but Arnold Weinstock insisted that development costs should be recouped from any further projects and this requirement meant that the system was not competitive.

After some years of relatively troublefree operation, the system began to require maintenance and replacement parts but GEC refused to support Maglev.

Eventually the airport authority had to cease operations since it was becoming unreliable.

Bernard North (F), people mover consultant, nortrans@nildram.co.uk

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