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Swissmetro, an Efficient Intercity Subway System

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The idea behind Swissmetro is to move travellers underground between the main cities of Switzerland at speeds of up to 500 km/h in a tube under partial vacuum. The train, carrying 800 passengers, would travel without contact to the infrastructure through an application of linear motor technology and magnetic levitation. The energy consumption of the system would be low, due to the extremely reduced air resistance and the absence of wheel-rail-contact. This report, concentrating on aspects of interest to civil engineers such as the conception and infrastructure of the system, presents some of the main results of a Preliminary Study published in March 1993. Important topics such as traffic and regional planning, operations, and economic analyses could not be included due to space limitations. The Preliminary Study demonstrates the project's feasibility.
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Keywords: Linear motor technology; Magnetic levitation; Propulsion system; Subterranean infrastructures; Swissmetro (Switzerland); Vacuum

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1993-08-01

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    Structural Engineering International (SEI), the quarterly Journal of IABSE, published since 1991, is the leading international journal of structural engineering dealing with all types of structures and materials. SEI offers its readers a unique blend of short profiles on recent structures, and longer, in-depth technical articles on research, development, design, construction and maintenance. Articles are written by practicing engineers and academia from around the world and reflect the high standards of IABSE. IABSE Peer Review stamps are given to papers that have passed through a highly selective review process and demonstrate a significant contribution to the state of structural engineering knowledge.To recognise contributions of the highest quality, an Outstanding Paper Award is presented each year.

    SEI is printed in Switzerland; ISSN 1016-8664; E-ISSN 1683-0350
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