Eddy current braking has long held the promise of frictionless braking of railroad trains. The advantages of eliminating friction brake equipment are particularly valuable to high speed rail passenger service. Tests over the last decade have identified a number of controllable challenges to implementing eddy current brakes involving the vehicle, track, and wayside equipment. High speed trains equipped with eddy current brakes are in service in Europe and under consideration worldwide. This paper illustrates the fundamental characteristics of eddy current braking, locates the technology with respect to other braking systems technologies, and highlights wayside compatibility issues involved in deploying high speed trains with eddy current braking.

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