Japanese Train Breaks Its Own World Speed Record

World record setting Maglev train. (Screenshot/YouTube)
World record setting Maglev train. (Screenshot/YouTube)

A Japanese train has broken its own world speed record, when the seven car Maglev, short for “magnetic levitation,” reached a top speed of 374 miles per hour (603 kph) during what officials described as a “comfortable” zip along a test track near Mount Fuji.

The Maglev train uses a number of electrically charged magnets to lift and move carriages above the rail tracks.

Al Jazeera news report:

Central Japan Railway (JR Central), owns the trains, and wants to introduce the service between Tokyo and the central city of Nagoya by 2027. It is a 175 mile trip and would only take about 40 minutes to complete, making it less than half the time it takes now.

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 313 mph (505 kph). In comparison, the fastest operating speed of a Japanese shinkansen, or “bullet train,” is 320 kph, wrote the BBC.

603 kph! Japan’s maglev train sets new world record:

“The ride was comfortable and stable,” Yasukazu Endo, the head of the Maglev Test Centre, told the Asahi Shimbun newspaper. “We would like to continue analyzing data and make use of it in designing the cars and other equipment.”

But estimates put construction costs at nearly $100 bn for the Tokyo-Nagoya stretch, with more than 80 percent of the route expected to go through costly mountain tunnels, The Guardian wrote.

World’s fastest train records speed of 603 kph:

About 200 train enthusiasts gathered along the route to witness the test run.

“It gave me chills. I really want to ride on the train… It’s like I witnessed a new page in history,” one woman told public broadcaster NHK.

Even with the huge price tag, Japan still wants to sell its high-speed rail technology overseas. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, during his visit to the U.S. later this month, is expected to promote the construction of a high-speed rail link between New York and Washington, D.C. using Japanese technology.

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