SNCF and Nevomo announce their cooperation

SNCF and Nevomo to cooperate on MagRail

SNCF and Nevomo announce their cooperation at the 'Hello Tomorrow Global Summit' Nevomo

Pioneer of maglev-inspired technology for existing railways Nevomo has signed a Memorandum of Understand (MoU) with the French state railways SNCF. The companies will evaluate the benefits of MagRail within the French railway network to increase the efficiency and capacity in passenger and freight transport.

After signing a cooperation agreement with Italian infrastructure manager RFI in 2021, Nevomo continues to make progress, now establishing a cooperation with the French railways SNCF.  “We have noticed the high technicality of Nevomo and consider that the proposed technologies are likely to advance the railway”, says Luc Laroche, Innovation director at SNCF.

“We are therefore pleased to sign this MoU, which will cover three areas: increasing the performance of current freight trains for higher loading limits and more capacity on our freight lines, boosting the capacity on congested urban passenger lines, and evaluating MagRail as an alternative propulsion system for rural lines in combination with lightweight vehicles”.

MagRail is a concept developed by Nevomo, and is a hybrid solution that allows for the functionality of both a magnetic levitation (maglev) system and conventional trains on the same, existing railway tracks. It enables transportation at double the average speed of a conventional railroad, up to 550 kilometres per hour, according to Nevomo. MagRail is based on passive magnetic levitation, where the levitation of the vehicle is achieved automatically through the movement of the vehicle after achieving a certain speed. A linear motor, which is placed in the middle of the railway track, provides the propulsion for special vehicles, which could run in between regular trains.

MagRail also provides the possibility to operate electric vehicles in non-electrified areas, such as terminals and ports, for which it earlier signed a cooperation agreement with the German Duisport.

MagRail can be used in ports for last-mile transportation of containers (visualisation)
MagRail can be used in ports for last-mile transportation of containers, for example (visualisation)

Exploring the railway of the future

“On the research side, this MoU is part of the collaborative actions that we carry out with innovative ecosystems to feed our scientific watch and allow us to identify emerging technologies to explore for the railways of the future.”, says David De Almeida, director for Research at SNCF.

The first demo version of MagRail on a 1:5 scale was presented by Nevomo  in 2019. Successful mid-size tests were conducted in December 2020. Last year, Nevomo completed the construction of the full-scale test track in Nowa Sarzyna in Poland, which is Europe’s longest track for testing passive magnetic levitation.

“Being able to announce the cooperation publicly in Paris at the “Hello Tomorrow Global Summit” together with our partner SNCF, is undoubtedly the best confirmation of the credibility of our technology we can get from the market and a confirmation of the huge need for this type of mobility solution. We are very excited to collaborate and evaluate the chosen applications to support SNCF’s goals”, says Przemek Ben Paczek, CEO and Co-founder of Nevomo.

Read an interview with Nevomo co-founder Kasia Foljanty here:

Author: Esther Geerts

Former Editor RailTech.com

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