First fatal accident on a maglev

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Sad news coming out of Germany today. The first fatal accident on a maglev occurred this morning on the Transrapid demonstration system near the Dutch border. The train left the station at 9:30 local time and sped up to about 200 km/h (120 mph) in the short distance of 1 km (0.6 mi) before colliding with a maintenance of way vehicle on the track. Reports so far indicate that 19 of the train's passengers plus two maintenance workers have died in the collision. The system where the accident occurred has been in operation four days per week since 1984, so this is proven technology. So far, analysts are pointing to a failure in communications between the train's operators and the maintenance crew. So this was the first accident, here's hoping we don't see another for an extremely long time.