Work on magnetic levitation (maglev) as a basis for ground transport systems has been going on since the 1960s. Many maglev systems have been proposed, of which two basic types have reached full-scale track testing of over 400 km/h in West Germany and Japan. Two low speed maglev systems, suitable for use in town centres, airports and shopping complexes, are already in public service. Although the future of maglev land transport is still uncertain, this article gives an assessment of progress. It considers first the simpler low-speed systems. Development has actively progressed in West Germany and the UK, and Japan has the potential knowledge to develop such systems. The technology of a number of different systems is described. The article then considers the high-speed systems on which decisions on implementation of projects for public-service use will be taken in the near future. The commercial viability of such systems is also considered.