Railroad History

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1937- Hermann Kemper patented a magnetic levitation train system

A German inventor Hermann Kemper patented a train system that used magnetic levitation (maglev). Kemper, born April 5 1892, was a German engineer and pioneer in his field.

Maglev is a transport method that uses magnetic levitation to move vehicles without touching the ground. With maglev, a vehicle travels along a guideway using magnets to create both lift and propulsion. Maglev reduces friction and allows for high speed travel.

Herman Kemper began his research on magnetic levitation in 1922. By 1933, Kemper constructed a working circuit for hovering on the principle of electromagnetic levitation, using electromagnetic attraction. He was awarded the Reich Patent number 643316, "the invention of a monorail with wheelless vehicles that are on iron rails by magnetic field guided floating". 

Kemper's invention eventually led to the development of Transrapid. Completed in 1987, the Transrapid is a German magnetic levitation high-speed monorail train with cruising speeds over 300 MPH.

In 1972, Kemper received the Great Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

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