The Electromagnetic Cargo Conveyor (ECCO) concept is a new transportation solution aimed at meeting urgent needs for cleaner, more efficient means of goods movement. ECCO is based on the “passive maglev” technology developed over the past decade by General Atomics (GA), with a combination of federal transit and GA company funding. GA has built the first full-scale working maglev system in the U.S., which operates on a 400-foot test track at GA’s main campus in San Diego.

In a recent study commissioned by the Port of Los Angeles, GA and its industry-academic team verified the feasibility of constructing an ECCO system capable of moving more than 5,000 containers per day between the Ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach and intermodal facilities along the I-710 Corridor. The ECCO team, which includes California State University, Long Beach, concluded that such a system, approximately five miles in length, could be built within a period of four years. The team also concluded that it was possible to build a longer term ECCO conveyor system capable of moving containers between the Ports of LA/LB and both the inland port warehouse concentrations and transcontinental rail terminals at Victorville and Beaumont.


Permanent Magnets

Magnet blocks

  • Neodymium Iron Boron (NdFeB)
  • Divided into subassemblies
  • Loaded into the magnet modules

Chassis Assembly

  • Magnet modules are then mounted to the chassis supports

No active power system on vehicle - only permanent magnets

  • Lighter, cheaper, more efficient vehicle design
  • Allows use of guideway tracks that are lighter, cheaper, and less intrusive

Halbach Array magnet configuration adds to benefits

  • Increased magnetic field strength
  • Very low magnetic fields in passenger compartments and near stations (well below allowable standards)
  • Larger air-gap enables less expensive guideway construction

Linear Synchronous Motor (LSM)

  • Means of providing forward propulsion in most maglev systems
  • Basic technologies have been used in operational transportation systems

Guideway Modules

  • Linear Synchronous Motor
  • Levitation Track
  • High Speed Turns (144 km/hr, 90 mph)
  • 800 meter minimum turn radius
  • 11.5 Cant Angle
  • Future Concept: Hybrid Guideway Girder
  • Steel Fiber Reinforce Concrete (SFRC)
  • In early stages of development