M-2000 vehicles are magnetically propelled by the Linear Synchronous
Motor (LSM) which maintains a 6 inch clearance between the vehicle
and the guideway. Details of the LSM system are described in Learning
to Levitate. The distance between the vehicles on the M-2000
guideway is automatically maintained at a constant value, regardless
of variations in drag force on the individual vehicles.
Most (over 90%) of the M-2000 guideway is a sequence of narrow
beams that are elevated above the ground. The narrow beams rest
on a line of piers. The M-2000 vehicles straddle the narrow beam.
Superconducting magnets on each side of the vehicle magnetically
interact with the guideway panels on each side of the beam, levitating
and stabilizing the vehicle as it moves along the guideway.
M-2000 vehicles can travel on both a narrow beam and planar guideway,
and smoothly transition from one to the other. This dual guideway
capability is possible because the vehicle has quadrupole superconducting
magnets. When on the narrow beam the vertical sides of the quadrupole
magnets magnetically interact with the loops on the sides of the
When on the planar guideway, the bottoms of the quadrupole magnets
magnetically interact with the loops on the surface of the planar