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Powell and BNL colleague Gordon Danby worked out a Mag Lev concept using static magnets mounted on a moving vehicle to induce electrodynamic lifting and stabilizing forces in specially shaped loops, such as figure of 8 coils on a guideway.
The trains regularly ran at up to 420 km/h (260 mph).Since linear motors do not require physical contact between the vehicle and guideway, they became a common fixture on advanced transportation systems in the 1960s and 70s.Laithwaite joined one such project, the Tracked Hovercraft, although the project was cancelled in 1973.In 2006, the Lathen maglev train accident occurred killing 23 people, found to have been caused by human error in implementing safety checks. At the end of 2011 the operation licence expired and was not renewed, and in early 2012 demolition permission was given for its facilities, including the track and factory.
Japan operates two independently developed maglev trains.The linear motor was naturally suited to use with maglev systems as well.