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Author Topic: After 30 years, the Brazilian aeromovel is out, in Brazil.  (Read 11871 times)

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Offline IgorEliezer br

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After 30 years, the Brazilian aeromovel is out, in Brazil.
« on: August 11, 2013, 04:04:23 PM »
After 30 years, the 1st 814 meters of aeromovel is finally open to the public. The inauguration took place yesterday in Porto Alegre, capital of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.



Aeromovel is a Brazilian technology for city public transportation based on the idea of atmospheric railways. It resembles a bit of the maglev, but it uses air pressure to provide power for propulsion. There's no engine aboard; the vehicle is driven by electrical blowers located under the track.



http://terratv.terra.com.br/Default.aspx?cid=479523 (video)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxU6_qI3sHo (video explaining the system, in English, back in 1980's)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5O63_UPG2XE (video in Japanese, quite old too)

Offline Ters

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Re: After 30 years, the Brazilian aeromovel is out, in Brazil.
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2013, 04:37:17 PM »
It doesn't seem like a particularly effective or reliable system. Air isn't the simplest thing to keep sealed in behind moving parts.

Offline ӔO

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Re: After 30 years, the Brazilian aeromovel is out, in Brazil.
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2013, 05:57:14 PM »
that and air is compressible, so there will be some slack between applied power and actual movement.

Offline gauthier

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Re: After 30 years, the Brazilian aeromovel is out, in Brazil.
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2013, 09:29:24 PM »
It's not like maglev at all, train doesn't levitate over the track, it moves on wheels. Air is only for propulsion. Although this idea is interesting.

Offline Ters

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Re: After 30 years, the Brazilian aeromovel is out, in Brazil.
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2013, 10:12:48 PM »
It's not like maglev at all, train doesn't levitate over the track, it moves on wheels.

I guess the point wasn't levitation or not, but that the cars are just passive vehicles and the propulsion is in the tracks. As far as I know, there are no "magroll" systems for public transportation. (I guess once you have the magnets, you might as well use them for levitation and avoid the friction in the wheels.) There are some magnetically accelerated rollercoaster and similar, but not for constant propulsion that I'm aware of. So maglev is the best well known thing to compare to. Cable cars like in San Francisco might be a close second, though, but I heard of maglevs before such cable cars.

Offline ӔO

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Re: After 30 years, the Brazilian aeromovel is out, in Brazil.
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2013, 11:39:45 PM »
I would guess this is safer than third rail electrification and quieter than electric motors for those riding the car.

Offline sdog

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Re: After 30 years, the Brazilian aeromovel is out, in Brazil.
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2013, 04:03:03 AM »
I guess the point wasn't levitation or not, but that the cars are just passive vehicles and the propulsion is in the tracks. As far as I know, there are no "magroll" systems for public transportation. (I guess once you have the magnets, you might as well use them for levitation and avoid the friction in the wheels.) There are some magnetically accelerated rollercoaster and similar, but not for constant propulsion that I'm aware of. So maglev is the best well known thing to compare to. Cable cars like in San Francisco might be a close second, though, but I heard of maglevs before such cable cars.

Levitation instead of wheels trades in hardly any reduction in resistance for a lot of disadvantages. Especially not a ride as smooth as on wheels. There are such systems, but look for linear motor instead of maglev.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toei_%C5%8Cedo_Line

Offline Ters

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Re: After 30 years, the Brazilian aeromovel is out, in Brazil.
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2013, 07:35:11 AM »
Levitation instead of wheels trades in hardly any reduction in resistance for a lot of disadvantages. Especially not a ride as smooth as on wheels. There are such systems, but look for linear motor instead of maglev.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toei_%C5%8Cedo_Line

I wan't really looking for other systems, just pointing out that the maglev concept is more known than any of them. And I don't really associate wheels with a smooth ride. It also makes a lot of noise. Since the wheels only rest on top of the track, there is also a chance of derailment, which is much harder on a maglev since the cars typically grip around the track. But on the other hand, you don't have to levitate to grip around the track.

Offline IgorEliezer br

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Re: After 30 years, the Brazilian aeromovel is out, in Brazil.
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2013, 08:51:14 AM »
It's not like maglev at all
Well, I mean:
resemble = look like
resemble != work like

Offline gauthier

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Re: After 30 years, the Brazilian aeromovel is out, in Brazil.
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2013, 10:49:10 AM »
Levitation instead of wheels trades in hardly any reduction in resistance for a lot of disadvantages. Especially not a ride as smooth as on wheels. There are such systems, but look for linear motor instead of maglev.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toei_%C5%8Cedo_Line
Maglev is known for providing a much smoother and quieter ride than wheeled vehicles, that's why they use linear motors as they can't use usual rotary motors since there's no wheel. Linear motors don't need physical contact between vehicles and track so it's compatible with levitation.

Anyway, concerning the comparison between aeromovel and maglev, some maglev have onboard (linear) motors (the track providing only a reaction plate), though I agree for comparison with other maglevs (which motorization is in the track).

Offline Ters

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Re: After 30 years, the Brazilian aeromovel is out, in Brazil.
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2013, 01:19:53 PM »
But I got to ask, is it 30 years from they decided to start (that is 30 years of planning, buying/expropriating ground and construction), or 30 years of just actual construction? I'm still waiting for a railroad that was decided on in 1967. They recently had to start all over (no construction had anywhere near started yet), because they planned for speeds and capacity from 20 years ago, which won't cut it today.

Offline sdog

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Re: After 30 years, the Brazilian aeromovel is out, in Brazil.
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2013, 04:29:44 PM »
Maglev is known for providing a much smoother and quieter ride than wheeled vehicles, that's why they use linear motors as they can't use usual rotary motors since there's no wheel. Linear motors don't need physical contact between vehicles and track so it's compatible with levitation.

That's not what the reports from TransRapid lines say.
e.g.: http://vimeo.com/8962575#

Now compare modern high speed rail, every noticed TGV or ICE lines as bumpy?

The sources for most rail accidents, also involving derailment are mostly not directly related to the wheel/rail system. (Exceptions like Eschede accident happen of course.) All other sources of accidents are there for Maglev as they are for conventional rail. Well, Maglev would have to gain such an outstanding safety record as conventional rail has, in the first place.

Big advantage are linear motors. For very high speeds catenaries are problematic. Wheel/rail seems to have still quite a bit of potential past 350 km, which is not fully developed yet, as there are other limiting factors.

Offline Ters

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Re: After 30 years, the Brazilian aeromovel is out, in Brazil.
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2013, 04:55:31 PM »
The sources for most rail accidents, also involving derailment are mostly not directly related to the wheel/rail system. (Exceptions like Eschede accident happen of course.) All other sources of accidents are there for Maglev as they are for conventional rail. Well, Maglev would have to gain such an outstanding safety record as conventional rail has, in the first place.

Kind of like the Concorde, from safest to unsafest with one accident (perhaps not strictly true, but still). However, it takes a lot more for a maglev to leave the tracks and bunch up against a concrete wall just because it didn't slow down before a curve. I would think the problem with breaks disappear, as the linear motors do the breaking, and if they fail, the car will drop down and break by sliding against the track. A switch that isn't set properly is however doomed to be catastrophic.

Offline gauthier

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Re: After 30 years, the Brazilian aeromovel is out, in Brazil.
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2013, 05:36:53 PM »
Quote
That's not what the reports from TransRapid lines say.
e.g.: http://vimeo.com/8962575#
Are you concluding on maglevs'smoothness with an amateur video ?
All sites/videos I saw about maglevs talk about a smoother ride, so well ... I don't know ... unfortunately I can't try by myself.

Offline prissi

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Re: After 30 years, the Brazilian aeromovel is out, in Brazil.
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2013, 07:06:47 PM »
We had in 1987 to 1990 a linear motor propulsed public transport system in Berlin which had rails http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M-Bahn

Such rails make switches much easier.

Offline sdog

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Re: After 30 years, the Brazilian aeromovel is out, in Brazil.
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2013, 10:47:34 PM »
Are you concluding on maglevs'smoothness with an amateur video ?
All sites/videos I saw about maglevs talk about a smoother ride, so well ... I don't know ... unfortunately I can't try by myself.

No, this is only an example for something that was reported repeatedly. But also look at the speed: it goes quite a bit above 400 km/h. Those are speeds where rail/wheel become problematic.

The problem of Maglev is that it's solving a problem that is not relevant in real operation. Top speed. What matters much more are average speeds and network efficiency. By ramping up top speeds for most high-speed rails (outside of Japan) this would help hardly a bit. Reducing the slow sections would have a huge impact on average speed however. And this without any higher operating costs.

Linear motors are very sexy though, for interurban rail. High acceleration, low maintenance for the vehilces. The idea was, when you have a linear synchronous motor, you almost get levitation for free. However the technical barriers seemed a bit high.

Another point is interoperability. When you have the same gauge, same electrification you can run some older train sets as replacement when your shiny new tech is broken. Low reliability and availablility at introduction of a new transport link is it's long term doom. It hardly ever recovers from the bad press at the beginning, as it fails to persuade enough customers to change their habit. Those who don't change use that as an excuse not to do it later on.

Offline Ters

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Re: After 30 years, the Brazilian aeromovel is out, in Brazil.
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2013, 07:24:20 AM »
Another point is interoperability. When you have the same gauge, same electrification you can run some older train sets as replacement when your shiny new tech is broken. Low reliability and availablility at introduction of a new transport link is it's long term doom. It hardly ever recovers from the bad press at the beginning, as it fails to persuade enough customers to change their habit. Those who don't change use that as an excuse not to do it later on.

In my experience, it's the infrastructure that breaks down, but then the infrastructure is 100-150 years old while the vehicles are somewhere between brand new and seasoned.