As part of the memorandum of understanding (MoU), Rete Ferroviaria Italiana and Nevomo two will apply for European innovation funding, to finance a full-scale pilot.
Polish-Swiss technology company Nevomo – whose ultimate aim is to develop a hyperloop system – envisages its magrail becoming a new high-speed transport system superposed on, and integrated with, existing railway corridors. It will enable the introduction of a new mode of propulsion with linear motors and a new interface between newly designed vehicles and the infrastructure, based on frictionless magnetic levitation.
Nevomo said that it will be a major step towards bringing the technology – still in its development phase – to the European railway market. It expects that magrail will be compatible with the existing underlying railway system and will enable conventional and high-speed railway transport to be upgraded.
There will follow an increase in speed of up to 75% on existing alignments, without the need to build new infrastructure, it said, this avoiding heavy civil works and related investment.
Nevomo said that its magrail system would allow for interchangeable operations of conventional railway rolling stock, as well as new, faster, magnetic-levitating vehicles on the same line.
The year-long collaborative agreement is focused on knowledge sharing and analysing the Italian railway network to assess the technical and economic feasibility of implementing magrail technology on selected routes.
Nevomo said that the trail on the test track will be the last stage of testing and is expected to trigger the conformity assessment procedures needed to implement the magrail technology commercially.
“The magrail technology we are developing allows us to implement sustainable mobility by transforming the transportation landscape into an efficient and emission-free system,” said Przemek Paczek, CEO and co-founder of Nevomo. “The preliminary feasibility study of magrail technology, conducted in cooperation with our partner IDOM, shows that the benefits of implementing magrail technology will be significant – both in economic and social terms, says. We are extremely happy that RFI, one of the European leaders in adopting advanced technological railway solutions, has placed its trust in us. Together, we have an opportunity to revolutionise rail transport.”