What is the easiest way to make a model Mag-Lev train move down a 15 foot track?
Because there's no friction between the train and the track. In an 'ordinary' train, friction between the wheels and the rails takes a lot of energy to overcome before the train starts moving. In a Maglev train, the train itself actually 'floats' above the track on a 'cushion' of magnetic foirce. With no friction to slow it down, the train is capable of much higher speeds.
Maglev means magnetic levitation. So the train is not touching the track, in fact once the engines are fired up, the entire train lifts about one cm off the track. So ice is irrelevant to a maglev vehicle. Unlike conventional vehicles which use friction as a braking force, e.g., tires on a road, a maglev uses eddy currents produced in the track as a result of magnetic force as both propulsion and braking methods.
The three types of maglev trains are EDS (electrodynamic suspension), EMS (electromagnetic suspension) and stabilized permanent magnet suspension (SPM). * For EMS, same pole electromagnets in the train repel it away from a magnetically conductive track. * The EDS uses electromagnets on both the track and the train, to push the train away from the track. * SPM uses opposite arrays of permanent magnets to magnetically levitate the train above the track. http://trains.suite101.com/article.cfm/maglev_trains
Magnets attract or repel (opposite poles attract: like poles repel), and electro-magnets can be turned on and off, or have their poles reversed, in an instant. So magnets are used instead of engines in a maglev train. There are two kinds of Maglev systems: EMS - ElectroMagnetic Suspension (Germany and China) - "pull" system. Magnets in the train are pulled forward by magnets in the track which are turned on just before the train arrives…