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Tuesday, 21st April 2015
In Japan Travel News,

Maglev train sets world record speed of 603 km/h

Central Japan Railway has announced that its new ultra-high speed magnetic levitation (maglev) train has set a new world record speed during a test run today (April 21st).

The maglev train managed to reach a speed of 603 km/h when it was travelling along a 42.8-km test track in the Yamanashi Prefecture, managing to break its own world record of 590 km/h, which it set last Thursday (April 16th).

The train is actually driverless and it uses a propulsion system known as an 'L-Zero', which initially brings the vehicle up to the speed of 160 km/h, before initiating the maglev system and slowly accelerating to 500 km/h. The entire seven-car train actually hovers ten centimetres above the tracks and is propelled by electrically charged magnets.

Central Japan Railway has already made it clear that it wants to adopt these trains to launch a new route between Tokyo and Nagoya by 2027. The journey, which is 286 km, would usually take around 90 minutes using the current shinkansen bullet trains, would be reduced to a mere 40 minutes. As part of the scheme, there will be four stations along the route: Sagamihara in Kanagawa Prefecture, Kofu in Yamanashi Prefecture, Iida in Nagano Prefecture, and Nakatsugawa in Gifu Prefecture. The Shinagawa and Nagoya stations will be around 40 metres underground, and the entire project is estimated to cost around ten trillion yen.

And this is just the start. Central Japan Railway also hopes that maglev trains will be able to link Tokyo and Osaka in just 67 minutes by 2045 - slashing the journey time by half.

Japan is currently looking to sell its shinkansen bullet trains overseas, with prime minister Abe currently in the US to tout a high-speed rail link between New York and Washington.

Related news stories:
Ground breaking ceremony held at Shinagawa maglev station (28th January 2016)