Japan's Magnetic Train Sets Speed Record—Again

Japan hopes to sell the technology to the US
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2015 10:24 AM CDT
Japan's Magnetic Train Sets Speed Record—Again
Japan's Magnetic Levitation, or linear motor car MLX01-901A, runs on a rest course of Yamanashi Experiment Center in Tsuru, Japan, Tuesday, May 11, 2010.   (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)

A week after crushing a speed record set 12 years ago, a magnetic levitation train in Japan has again set a new one. During a test run outside Tokyo today, Central Japan Railway pushed a seven-car maglev train to 374mph, topping its own world record of 366mph set on Thursday. The Guardian reports some 49 railway employees were on board as the train traveled above 600kph, or 373mph, for 10.8 seconds and covered 1.1 miles in that time. The company expects the Lo Series train, scheduled to speed 175 miles from Tokyo to Nagoya in 40 minutes by 2027, to travel at a slower operational speed of about 315mph, the BBC reports. But even that pace would break records: the top speed for a commercial maglev train is 268mph, set in China, CNN reports.

"The ride was comfortable and stable," the head of the Maglev Test Center says. "We would like to continue analyzing data and make use of it in designing the cars and other equipment." The line from Tokyo to Nagoya is expected to cost at least $46 billion—with a connection to Osaka in 2045 adding $30 billion to the bill—but Japan hopes other countries will see the trains as worth the investment, Bloomberg reports. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will make an official visit to the US on Sunday and is expected to make his case for such a train from New York to Washington. Bloomberg notes a 2,600-mile trip from New York to San Francisco could take just seven hours on a maglev train, though, at the current rate, the cost could hit $690 billion. (Read more Japan stories.)

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