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Giant magnet set to reach new Illinois home after 5,000-km journey

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CHICAGO - It's 15 metres wide, weighs almost 14 tonnes and has taken a month to transport more than 5,000 kilometres from New York to Illinois.

It's a gigantic electromagnet and it's scheduled to end its unlikely journey to its new home outside Chicago today.

Batavia's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory will use it to study blazing fast particles.

What's not blazing fast is the magnet on the last leg of its journey. This week, it's moved by truck at between eight and 25 kilometres an hour.

En route from a federal laboratory in New York, it was floated down the East Coast into the Gulf of Mexico, then up river to Illinois.

The used magnet cost $3.5 million to transport. But it would have cost far more to construct a new one.

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