Buck hosts "maglev" demonstration at state Capitol - offers potential solution to traffic problems

Olympia, WA - 2/6/02 - State Rep. Jim Buck says that magnetic-levitation technology under development by a company on the Olympic Peninsula could put Washington on the fast track toward moving people and freight quickly, cleanly and economically in the traffic-choked Puget Sound area.

Buck and five other legislators recently flew to Port Angeles for a demonstration of the "LEVX" system at Magna Force, Inc., and came away convinced that the company may be at the forefront in developing magnetic-levitation technology that could revolutionize Washington s transportation future.

Buck has arranged for a working model of the company s concept to be displayed on the Capitol Campus (at the sundial), Wed., Feb. 6. Inventor and Magna Force, Inc. president Karl J. Lamb will conduct a presentation for Gov. Locke, legislators and the media at 9 a.m.

Magnetic levitation, or "maglev," uses powerful electromagnets to lift, propel and guide a vehicle over a tracked guide-way on a thin cushion of air with no physical contact while in motion. Unlike other systems that require electrical power to operate, Magna Force, Inc. s LEVX system allows a load to be levitated on a passive guide-way and operated without the use of electricity. "LEVX energy efficiency exceeds every other transportation technology currently in use," said Magna Force, Inc. s Karen Rogers. "No
other levitated transport system can offer fail-safe operation (no touchdown) during all phases of transportation, even during power outages or other system failures. It s also economically sustaining, noiseless and pollution-free."

"As an engineer, I m impressed by the savings the LEVX s system would offer in the cost of construction, operation and maintenance," said Buck, R-Joyce. "The guide-way system can be installed over existing rails and along or above existing roads and highways. The guide-way structure requires no complicated or expensive electrical components, no electrical substations, and can be substantially smaller than other maglev or monorail guide-ways."

Germany has been researching a magnetic-levitation system for many years, but the project has not advanced beyond a test track. The world's first magnetic-levitation train system, a 20-mile route in Shanghai using German technology, will open in 2004. Several U.S. cities are considering using magnetic levitation for urban transit, including Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Atlanta, Baltimore, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

"The Magna Force LEVX system is true, cutting-edge technology that s superior in every way to the maglev projects on drawing boards or in development anywhere in the world," said Buck. "Senator Patty Murray has gone to bat for the concept, and is working to secure funding to help the company continue its research and development. She believes, as I do, that Magna Force is not only setting the standard, but advancing the technology to the next level.

"As we explore our options, I m persuaded that this could be a viable, clean, fast and cost-effective alternative to conventional modes of transportation," he concluded.

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