ITALY: The technical and economic feasibility of operating 550 km/h magnetic levitation vehicles on existing railway alignments in addition to conventional trains is to be studied by infrastucture manager RFI and Polish-Swiss maglev and hyperloop technology company Nevomo.
The organisations have signed a one-year memorandum of understanding to collaborate to verify the feasibility of the idea, and are to apply for European innovation funding to finance a full-scale pilot at RFI’s Bologna San Donato test facility.
Announcing the agreement with RFI on June 21, Nevomo said ‘interchangeable operation’ of conventional rolling stock and faster maglev vehicles could facilitate a gradual expansion of maglev operations and enable speeds to be raised by up to 75% on existing routes without the cost of building new alignments.
Formerly known as Hyper Poland, Nevomo has raised more than €7·9m from entrepreneur Piotr Hütter’s Hütter Private Equity, ValueTech Seed Venture Capital, research and development grants and crowdfunding through the Seedrs platform.
In October 2019 it presented a 1:5 scale demonstration of its concept, and ‘mid-size’ tests began in December 2020. It plans to begin construction of a 750 m long full-scale passive maglev test track at Nowa Sarzyna in Poland this summer.
It recently signed co-operation agreements with concrete sleeper supplier Plastwil de Bonte and rail fastening company Plastwil, and other companies involved in the Polish test track project include IDOM, chemical group and site owner CIECH Sarzyna, Transfer Multisort Elektronik and Poland’s Railway Institute.
Pilot implementations are planned for 2022–24 with the technology expected to be fully operational by 2025, according to Chief Technical Officer Pawel Radziszewski.