ISTEA Reauthorization
March 28, 1997

Mr. Reid, Mr. Chafee, thank you for giving me the opportunity to testify about the Transrapid Magnetic Levitation Transportation technology. I am here on behalf of Manfred Wackers, President of Transrapid International, which is a consortium of Thyssen Industries, Siemens Corporation and Adtranz, the last being a partnership between ABB and Daimler Benz Companies.

We are engaged in efforts to "Americanize" our technology in cooperation with several preeminent U.S. companies. Today we are joined by the AMG Group, which is Hughes Electronics, General Atomics, Booz, Allen Hamilton and Hirschfeld Steel Companies.

Transrapid technology was developed over a period of 25 years by unique private-public partnership. The Government of Germany funded research and development of competing MagLev technologies and selected transrapid as a prototype to develop a 19-mile transrapid test facility, which was opened in Emsland, Germany, in 1984 and has traveled over 300,000 miles and carried more than 160,000 passengers to date.

The Transrapid has been tested and is ready for deployment. German Federal Government has certified the Transrapid for passenger service at speeds up to 310 miles per hour. In the United States the Federal Railroad Administration has completed all research and investigation necessary for U.S. certification and will provide that certification once a Transrapid-based project has been selected.

The FRA certification is known as Rules for Particular Applicability, and is, therefore, contingent upon identification of the location for the application. Transrapid MagLev technology is a simple system comprised of two main components -- the guideway and the vehicle. The propulsion of the Transrapid uses a series of electronic stator packs embedded in the guideway. The vehicle contains both levitation magnets, which lift the vehicle one-half inch above the guideway and guidance magnets to guide the vehicle. There is, therefore, no friction between the vehicle and guideway.

The longstator motor located in the guideway provides non-contact propulsion and braking of the MagLev vehicle. The upgrade or elevated guideway constructed of steel or concrete is an integral part of the Transrapid system. Its extremely flexible parameters and minimal land and space requirements allow it to be more easily integrated into the landscape than highways or railroads.

More than any other system the Transrapid embodies the qualities of low life-cycle costs, high reliability and low environmental impact. Due to its applicability to climb steep grades at 10 percent and transit tight curbs, the Transrapid guideway can be easily integrated into every landscape.

Expensive cuttings, retaining walls and tunnels can thereby be minimized, if not eliminated entirely, and the Transrapid is extremely quiet. Its non-contact propulsion and levitation technology does not produce any rolling or mechanical noise. The extreme flexibility is also apparent in the train sets. Depending on the route and ridership requirements, the Transrapid can be configured with two to 10 vehicles carrying 150 to 1,000 passengers or up to 20 tons of high value cargo per vehicle station. With a peak speed of over 300 miles per hour, the Transrapid is not only super-fast but it is also super-safe.

Since the Transrapid levitates without contact along its guideway, it produces no rolling noise even during braking and acceleration. Aerodynamic noise only becomes evident about 120 miles per hour. Its unrivaled low noise emissions make it ideal for urban applications.

At equal speed the Transrapid consumes approximately 30 percent less energy than a modern high speed train. The Transrapid is sought for many different applications -- as a fast shuttle between a city and its airport, as a fast and economical connection between two cities and as a key element in a sophisticated high performance transportation network.

Thank you again for the opportunity to appear before you, and I would be happy to answer any questions.