What is Maglev Monorail?

As stated on our What is Monorail? page, the definition of monorail is:
A single rail serving as a track for passenger or freight vehicles. In most cases rail is elevated, but monorails can also run at grade, below grade or in subway tunnels. Vehicles are either suspended from or straddle a narrow guideway. Monorail vehicles are WIDER than the guideway that supports them.

The Federal Railroad Administration defines Maglev as "an advanced technology in which magnetic forces lift, propel, and guide a vehicle over a guideway." So what is a Maglev Monorail? Simply put, maglev monorail follows the guideway as conventional monorail does, but powerful magnets provide propulsion and lift. With most maglevs, there are no wheels touching the track surface, the train "floats" instead of rolling. There are different types of maglevs in development. The Monorail Society focuses on those that share the same type of guideway that of monorails, one that is narrower than the train. We use the term "maglev monorail" as opposed to maglev to draw a distinction from systems with large trough-like guideways. Please note the following illustrations:

 Maglev Monorail? YES

Maglev trains that wrap around their guideway are Maglev Monorails
(photo courtesy of Transrapid)
Maglev Monorail? NO

The Yamanashi maglev test track is certainly not a narrow monorail-like guideway.
(photos courtesy of JR Yamanashi Test Track)

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