If you've ever played with magnets, you know that opposite poles attract and like poles repel each other. This is the basic principle behind electromagnetic propulsion. Electromagnets are similar to other magnets in that they attract metal objects, but the magnetic pull is temporary. As you can read about in How Electromagnets Work , you can easily create a small electromagnet yourself by connecting the ends of a copper wire to the positive and negative ends of an AA, C or D-cell battery . This creates a small magnetic field. If you disconnect either end of the wire from the battery, the magnetic field is taken away.
In most cases, high-speed rail travel is time- and cost-competitive with air travel when distances do not exceed 500 to 600 km (310 to 370 mi), as airport check-in and boarding procedures may add as many as two hours to the actual transit time.  Also, rail operating costs over these distances may be lower when the amount of fuel consumed by an airliner during takeoff and climbout is considered. As travel distance increases, the latter consideration becomes less of the total cost of operating an airliner and air travel becomes more cost-competitive.