In Japan, many citizens are train enthusiasts, what with local train lines being ultra fast, always on time and well-maintained. The cross-country Bullet Trains are even more astounding, shuttling hundreds of miles in a matter of minutes. Japan's Shinkansen, their first high-speed rail, opened in 1964, when Tokyo first hosted the Summer Olympics. With Tokyo again named to host in 2020, Japan intends to pull a repeat performance, albeit with a faster, higher technology maglev train.
According to CNN Travel, the new maglev train was being tested near Mount Fuji last year and broke its former record of 366 mph, and currently going as fast as 374 mph. Around Asia, maglev trains are currently used in Shanghai and Changsha in China, and Incheon, South Korea. Albeit being slower than Japan's newest train, all use similar technologies of using magnetic repulsion to raise or levitate the train off its tracks. This levitation is not just some cool feature, but greatly reduces friction when propelled forward by powerful electro-magnets.
The new line is set to link Tokyo to Nagoya, a 177mile journey, and shorten travel time by up to 40 minutes faster than taking a flight. The 16-carriage train can carry 1,000 passengers and is set to be expanded to Osaka. Named the Chuo Shinkansen, the initial costing worried Japanese citizens. According to The Japan News, although the train mobiles themselves cost twice as much as regular trains, the civil engineering budget for the tracks, rails and housing structures are the same. In addition, maintenance and operation costs are expected to go lower because of further technological advancements in superfast train systems.
Japan is hoping to outperform Western countries in engineering, given that the small East Asian country has shown much pride and skill in technological advancements. One such future project Japan must watch out for is Elon Musk's Hyperloop meant to connect Los Angeles and San Francisco with a top speed of 700 mph. (READ: Hyperloop One Supersonic Train Commits to 30-minute travel between Los Angeles and San Francisco)
© 2023 Travelers Today. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.