The idea of propelling vehicles with magnets is an old one, but the video pasted after the break from IDL Motors shows how the idea can be implemented. What's cool about this type of system is that there is no need for a motor in the moving vehicle. Instead, the track pushes the vehicle along. This type of technology is used in some roller coasters, which accelerate from a dead stop to high speeds very quickly. Growing up in Ohio, I've ridden both the Wicked Twister and Maverick coasters at Cedar Point and experienced the smooth acceleration that the linear propulsion system is capable of. This type of system can also be used for certain types of mass transit, but I don't imagine that the super quick acceleration launching method would be used in that application... but maybe that would get more people to ride the morning train to work. No?
[Source: IDL Motors via Engadget]
Here is the video:
The video meant to be presented here is no longer available. Sorry for the inconvenience.