Japan plans world's fastest train

Posted by Kate Taylor

The Central Japan Railway Company (JR Tokai) has unveiled plans for a maglev train that can hit 310 miles per hour.

Connecting central Tokyo’s Shinagawa Station to Nagoya - which already have a bullet train link - it's due to open in 2027.

According to the Japan Daily Press, there are plans to extend it onward to Osaka by 2045, in a project costing $64 billion.

The Series L0 train does away with wheels. It's controlled using electromagnetic fields, and will float above the tracks, cutting friction and allowing very high speeds. It will hold 1,000 passengers, housed in 16 carriages, and will cut the present 90-minute journey time to just 40 minutes. Officials say that it's a much greener solution than air travel.

Five carriages have already been built, and the company will shortly start testing the system. "Through the test runs, we'll make final checks to ensure comfortable rides in the commercial services," Yasukazu Endo, chief of JR Tokai's maglev experiment center in Tsuru, told Yomiuri.

Japan's long been keen on super-fast trains - indeed, it first introduced its Shinkansen bullet train back in 1964. And while maglev trains aren't a new idea - they were first developed in the 1970s - Japan would be the first country to introduce one running over such a long distance.

There's already a maglev system in Shanghai, connecting the airport to central Pudong, a distance of around 20 miles. Its top speed is 268 miles per hour, making it - for the time being - the fastest train in the world.