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.