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April 20, 2015

Japan’s maglev train sets new world speed record

Japan's magnetic levitation (maglev) train has set a new world speed record of 603km/h (374mph) in a test run near Mount Fuji.

By Samseer M

Japan’s magnetic levitation (maglev) train has set a new world speed record of 603km/h (374mph) in a test run near Mount Fuji.

Owned by Central Japan Railway (JR Central), the train has broken its own record of 590km/h that was reached during another test last week, BBC News reported.

Using maglev technology, which allows the electrically charged magnets to lift and move carriages above the rail tracks, the new train is expected to be operational by 2027.

"This latest technological advancement demonstrates Japan’s vision and ambition to develop a truly integrated transport network."

The first magnetic levitation train will service between Tokyo and the central city of Nagoya and it would take only around 40min to complete the 280km-long journey between the cities.

Maglev trains are expected to link Tokyo and Osaka in just one hour by 2045, according to BBC.

However, according to JR Central, the train will operate at a maximum of 505km/h during its commercial operation. The fastest operating speed of a Japanese bullet train is currently at 320km/h.

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Commenting on this achievement, UK’s Institution of Mechanical Engineers transport head Philippa Oldham said: "This latest technological advancement demonstrates Japan’s vision and ambition to develop a truly integrated transport network, which includes conventional high speed rail, something that we are distinctly lacking in the UK."

According to AFP, the estimated construction cost for the stretch to Nagoya is around $100bn (£67bn). More than 80% of the route is expected to go through tunnels.

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