Flying on the ground – but no further flying in Germany!

The Transrapid story and its undeserving end in Germany.

– Series


I.: Germany – Country of inventors but not of businessmen


The MP3 format, the computer and nuclear fission. What do these three have in common?

Well, they were all invented or developed in Germany. But that seems to be all. The MP3 business is dominated by American and Asian companies, as it is in the computer business. Nuclear energy faces heavy resistance and protest in Germany. Thus, there won’t be any nuclear power plant remaining in Germany after 2021. All right, all great inventions, but Americans and Asians are apparently much better in making money out of technology than Germans are.


The latest example of the German distaste towards technology is the cancellation of the Transrapid track in Munich in March.


Invented in 1934, the Transrapid is a magnetic levitation train which reaches a maximum speed of 550 km/h.

Surprisingly, the technology got lots of financial support from the German governments throughout the past decades. Thus, the first application of this technology was at a testing site in northwest Germany, the Emsland Transrapid Test Facility.

Until the severe accident in 2006, it offered the possibility for those who were interested to take a ride on the Transrapid. Being a technology enthusiast, I took a ride in 2005 and from that point in time, I’ve been a huge supporter of the Transrapid. And for me living in Munich, I was very excited about the planning going on there for a track connecting the airport with the central train station.


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Filed under Economy, Environment, Global Issues, Science

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