Japan's Bullet Trains Are Going to Get Way Faster
New magnetic levitation series will go 310mph
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2013 3:48 PM CDT
This a 2008 file photo of a bullet train in Japan. The coming version is even faster.   (AP Photo/Katsumi Kasahara)

(Newser) – Japan commuters got a tantalizing glimpse this week of a train significantly faster than the bullet trains now zipping across the country, reports the Telegraph. Many of those commuters, however, will be retired by the time the train—which runs on magnetic-levitation technology rather than wheels—is in use. The LO series cars will hit speeds of 310mph and are scheduled to start ferrying their first passengers from Tokyo to Nagoya in 2027. Travel time will be cut from 90 minutes to 40 minutes.

The trains will be connected to the farther-flung Osaka region in 2045, cutting that time from two and a half hours to an hour, reports the Japan Daily Press. The incredible speeds will be managed without a driver in the train, notes the Asahi Shimbun, which has more details on the newly unveiled prototype. (The no-driver feature explains the lack of a windshield on the front car.) A computer will run the train from afar, and a camera on the nose of the lead car will relay any potential trouble on the tracks. Click any of the links for photos.

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Jun 7, 2013 6:55 AM CDT
a camera on the nose of the lead car will relay any potential trouble on the tracks. ************************************************************ AFTER it's too late.
Jun 6, 2013 3:41 PM CDT
Some careful probing will turnup the proximal cause of the failure of America's train systems. Back in 1947, the car companies had been producing war materials and needed LOTS of American consumers to folk over the bucks for new cars. If those consumers were riding trolleys around the big cities and trains between those cities, why would they need cars? Check into the story of Philadelphia's far-flung commuter system and what happened after WW2. Of course, now our politicians are complaining about supporting Detroit at the same time they're trying to put AmTrak out of business... screaming about the costs of expanding airports... all while redirecting the money needed to maintain the Interstate road system. California, the Mid-West, the entire East Coast, Texas and many other states should have had high-speed commuter trains decades ago!
Jun 5, 2013 10:38 AM CDT
At 310 mph, how are you going to see anything on the tracks before it's too late?