Magnetic levitation car

From Guild of Archivists
Riven maglev.jpg
Location Riven

The Magnetic levitation car (usually known as MagLev or, less commonly, Magcar) was a transportation device created by Gehn to solve the problem of getting from island to island on Riven. Prior constructions such as bridges and walkways were too difficult to maintain due to the shifting and moving of the islands in relation to one-another.

Knowing the D'ni's penchant for using raw forms of energy, Gehn created a device which used magnetic levitation to lift the car off the track. The advantage to this system was that the rails of the track would be more flexible than wooden bridges, and would allow for more time between repairs, which would only be necessary when two islands separated far enough to require the addition of more track. However, he still needed an engine to power the electromagnets and propel the craft forward. This miniature jet engine, unlike the magnets which ride the rails, is far from a clean source of power, as evidenced by the scorch marks left on the station bumpers on each island.

Once Gehn got his Linking Books working on Riven, he stopped using the MagLev regularly, and it was left mainly for his trusted Guildsmen to transport themselves to and from Temple Island, and to access the Book Assembly and Survey Islands to perform tasks for Gehn. Villagers were not permitted to use the MagLevs, and were instead restricted to Jungle Island.

It should be noted that today, engineers around the world are experimenting on creating trains which work in an upside-down version of this system, working with either attraction in France, or repulsion in Japan. Even today, however, they are still too expensive to be practical.

The design of the MagLev tram itself was originally much different. As told by Richard Vander Wende, he wanted it to reflect Gehn's taste for low-tech, Victorian mechanism which would work in a different way. It would be represented as a mechanical version of the wahrk.[citation needed]

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