Japan’s floating train with 600kmh speed


2016 UPDATE:

A Japanese magnetic levitation train has broken its own world speed record, hitting 603kmh (374mph) in a test run near Mount Fuji.

The train beat the 590kmh speed it had set last week in another test.

Maglev trains use electrically charged magnets to lift and move carriages above the rail tracks.

Central Japan Railway (JR Central), which owns the trains, wants to introduce the service between Tokyo and the central city of Nagoya by 2027.

The 280km journey would take only about 40 minutes, less than half the current time.

However, passengers will not get to experience the maglev’s record-breaking speeds because the company said its trains will operate at a maximum of 505kmh. In comparison, the fastest operating speed of a Japanese shinkansen, or “bullet train” is is 320kmh.


2014 story: The first passengers have travelled at an incredible 500kmh on a hovering bullet train in Japan. The 43km trip went by in a flash for the 100 passengers as the train, which “floats” above tracks using magnetic levitation, hit speeds of 500kmh.


Maglev – short for magnetic levitation – rely on magnets rather than wheels, axles and bearings to carry vehicles and therefore require less maintenance and are less affected by the weather.

They are, however, more expensive to build, which has led opponents to accuse them of being white elephants.

Maglev trains are even faster than Japan’s famous bullet trains, which currently travel at about 320kmh.

Japan’s reputation for high-speed rail started in 1964 with the unveiling of its first bullet train coinciding with the Summer Olympics.

The central line in the country – the Tokaido Shinkansen – is the world’s busiest high-speed rail, carrying 151 million passengers each year.

japan high-speed trains competition

Source: BBC report. Graphics from WSJ and BBC.

See also:

The Turkish leap: High-speed train between Ankara and Istanbul

Work on India’s first $15B bullet train starts in 2 years

Green Line train from Islamabad to Karachi with free wifi

Rs 154B Orange Line Metro Train for Lahore

Rs15B Green Line metro bus project for Karachi

Karachi to get 26km Yellow Line bus service in 2 years

World’s next highest railway bridge in Indian Kashmir

Solar road could change how we power the world

How you will travel in 2024