Thursday, August 18, 2016


This Is More Like It

Instapundit has a recurring meme where he decries things getting worse (This is not the 21st Century I was promised) or applauds things getting better (This is more like the 21st Century I was promised). I can play that game.

These are tracks, if that's the right word, for the Maglev train from the airport in Inchon, Korea out to some hotels, parking lots and a waterpark. My photography generally sucks but I think you can see that there are no tracks. Those are my legs and elegant travel bag reflected in the glass door (and wall) that separate a lot of trains and subways from the platforms in Korea and Japan. Their death rate from suicides jumping in front of oncoming trains and from accidental falls (and from homicides of people pushed onto the tracks, like D'Onofrio in that great episode of Homicide) is nearly zero.

Here is the train on the trackless tracks entering the terminus. You'll just have to take my word for it that there were no wheels on the train for running on the trackless tracks. Magnetic energy from electricity lifts the train and changes in polarity in the trackless tracks accelerates the train down the track and to the destinations. Inside the train there is almost no noise and the acceleration is smooth and somewhat impressive in it strength. Outside the train, one hears an electric hum, not that loud but you can hear it clearly.

The downside is the Maglev is so finicky that the Koreans warn you not to take it if you have a plane to catch and even a light rain will shut down the system which only runs for about 8 hours a day in the first place. Baby steps.

Still, kinda cool.


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