Friday, 24 June 2011
MAGLEV Rides Again!
In a previous blog post, I was talking about my love for Midland Red, and of course how history - including more recent history - is important to shaping the transport world we have today.
This somewhat amusing picture is of Andy Jones, who lives near Kenilworth - the now possibly proud owner of a little bit of local transport history.
From 1984-1995, anyone who used Birmingham Airport and Birmingham International Rail Station next door will instantly remember the MAGLEV (Magnetic Levitation) which ran the 600 metres between the 2 sites at speeds of up to 26 mph! It floated just 15mm above the track.
There were 2 MAGLEVs - the other now in a museum.
Today, 2 not so dissimilar vehicles operate the link, although these don't use such cutting edge technology. (Hauled by cables, apparently)
This story first hit the headlines in November last year. This MAGLEV had lay unloved in a corner of the airport for years when it was put up for sale on eBay. Bidding had reached £25,100 and the cash was to go to 2 charities.
However, the winning bidder defaulted on payment and the striking (some may say!) vehicle was again put up for auction. Mr Jones kicked off the bidding with £100, but no one else bothered - leaving him with it!
It's now in a field near Mr Jones's home whilst he works out what to do with it next.
I hope something can be done to properly house and display this little piece of history.
picture from Birmingham Mail