A prototype of an energy-efficient MAGLEV train: A step towards cleaner train transport

Zakria Qadir, Arslan Munir, Tehreem Ashfaq, Hafiz Suliman Munawar, Muazzam A. Khan, Khoa Le

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The magnetic levitation (MAGLEV) train uses magnetic field to suspend, guide, and propel vehicle onto the track. The MAGLEV train provides a sustainable and cleaner solution for train transportation by significantly reducing the energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions as compared to traditional train transportation systems. In this paper, we propose an advanced control mechanism using an Arduino microcontroller that selectively energizes the electromagnets in a MAGLEV train system to provide dynamic stability and energy efficiency. We also design the prototype of an energy-efficient MAGLEV train that leverages our proposed control mechanism. In our MAGLEV train prototype, the levitation is achieved by creating a repulsive magnetic field between the train and the track using magnets mounted on the top-side of the track and bottom-side of the vehicle. The propulsion is performed by creating a repulsive magnetic field between the permanent magnets attached on the sides of the vehicle and electromagnets mounted at the center of the track using electrodynamic suspension (EDS). The electromagnets are energized via a control mechanism that is applied through an Arduino microcontroller. The Arduino microcontroller is programmed in such a way to propel and guide the vehicle onto the track by appropriate switching of the electromagnets. We use an infrared-based remote-control device for controlling the power, speed, and direction of the vehicle in both the forward and the backward direction. The proposed MAGLEV train control mechanism is novel, and according to the best of our knowledge is the first study of its kind that uses an Arduino-based microcontroller system for control mechanism. Experimental results illustrate that the designed prototype consumes only 144 W-hour (Wh) of energy as compared to a conventionally designed MAGLEV train prototype that consumes 1200 Wh. Results reveal that our proposed control mechanism and prototype model can reduce the total power consumption by 8.3 × as compared to the traditional MAGLEV train prototype, and can be applied to practical MAGLEV trains with necessary modifications. Thus, our proposed prototype and control mechanism serves as a first step towards cleaner engineering of train transportation systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100217
JournalCleaner Engineering and Technology
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Electrodynamic suspension
  • Electromagnets
  • Infrared sensor
  • MAGLEV train
  • Microcontroller
  • Permanent magnets
  • Transportation systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'A prototype of an energy-efficient MAGLEV train: A step towards cleaner train transport'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this