New 311mph maglev train in Japan passes initial tests

Jun 06, 2013 by Bob Yirka report
Credit: TokioTimes

(Phys.org) —Engineers with Central Japan Railway Co. have put their newest maglev L0 train through initial testing and report the new high-speed train is on course for commercial deployment by 2027. The train will eventually carry up to 1000 passengers at a time in 16 carriages (traveling at speeds up to 311mph / 500kmph) between Tokyo and Nagoya, cutting current travel time from 90 to 40 minutes.

The initial test of the train was a simple trial to ensure soundness—the lead car and four other carriages were pulled along a track using a maintenance vehicle. An official test of the train is expected to be carried out in September. The maglev train, like others of its kind, is held in the air by magnets as it's traveling cutting down on friction between wheels and rails.

Japan was the first country to introduce . They built and used one to transport spectators at speeds up to 130mph to and from venues at the 1964 Olympics held in that country. Since that time, virtually all other technically advanced countries have built so-called and have put them into service. The title of worlds fastest is currently held by China's Shanghai maglev train—it's capable of running at speeds of up to 268mph, though it generally operates at closer to 150mph due to track length restrictions. A train running at 311mph would set a new bar, likely prompting others to see if that speed can be topped.

Japan has set itself apart in high speed rail—its current network of trains run at speeds averaging a world-best 199mph over 1,400 miles of track. Nagoya, Japan's third largest city is approximately 218 miles west of Tokyo—the the span between them is currently serviced by the Tokaido Shinkansen Line. Plans call for the rail line to be extended all the way to Osaka by 2045. Government officials have indicated that the overall plan is to add high-speed service between all of the major cities on Honshu, the country's main island.

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When complete, each of the new trains will feature 16 carriages—plus the streamlined nose car positioned at the front. Each passenger car will be 24.3 meters in length, giving riders more room than conventional railcars, though there will be one extra seat per row.

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User comments : 22

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gwrede
1.5 / 5 (8) Jun 06, 2013
I sure wouldn't want to ride in one when there is an earthquake. While they are presumed to be "earthquake proof", I'll believe it once I see it.
Skepticus
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 06, 2013
Well, trains do not depart during an earthquake, nor planes taking off into a storm, nor sensible people start driving into a tornado...if all of these bad things happen while you are on one of the transports, it is 95% up to your luck, the rest on the merits of the safeties built into them!
italba
2.3 / 5 (6) Jun 06, 2013
Japan trains automatically stops in case of earthquake. And magnetic tracks could insulate the train from the earthquake shaking better than traditional ones.
nkalanaga
3 / 5 (2) Jun 06, 2013
From the looks of that track, it couldn't derail. Most likely the second-worst case would be a very fast sliding stop if the magnets failed suddenly, and it probably has some type of wheel for such cases. After all, one would want to be able to tow the train if the power was intentionally turned off. The stop would be rough, but survivable.

Worst case would be if the fault broke the guideway just in front of the train, and one ran into the end of the concrete. But, statistically, that is very unlikely.

sirchick
3.4 / 5 (5) Jun 06, 2013
Never would we see this in the west :(
Tektrix
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 06, 2013
Never would we see this in the west :(

Agreed- too many special interests and 'fraidy-cats for infrastructure this cool.
VendicarE
1.9 / 5 (9) Jun 06, 2013
It is sad that third world nations like the United States will never be technologically or culturally advanced enough for such trains.
BSD
3.2 / 5 (9) Jun 07, 2013
It is sad that third world nations like the United States will never be technologically or culturally advanced enough for such trains.


Or to be able to quote speed in km/h and distance in km, like every other place in the world does.
nkalanaga
4.2 / 5 (5) Jun 07, 2013
More likely you won't find them in the US because we don't have the population density to make it profitable. Here it's actually cheaper for everyone to drive than to try to build enough high speed rail lines to serve every significant town.
Dominic De Silva
5 / 5 (3) Jun 07, 2013
The US should amaze their technology. Japan is still the best in terms of transportation technology.
edmiidz
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 07, 2013
I don't think countries that measure speed in MPH can have trains like this.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (4) Jun 07, 2013
Never would we see this in the west :(

Agreed- too many special interests and 'fraidy-cats for infrastructure this cool.
West of where?
Try GOOGLE.
http://en.wikiped...s#Europe
http://en.wikiped..._America
italba
2.6 / 5 (5) Jun 07, 2013
Never would we see this in the west :(

Agreed- too many special interests and 'fraidy-cats for infrastructure this cool.
West of where?
Try GOOGLE.
http://en.wikiped...s#Europe

Have you read your own links? "Is planned", "proposed", "if built", "dismissed"... Total maglev lines 0.0. At last, in Europe we have some high speed (250 Km/h or more) traditional train lines, but in the US? Greyhounds or Cadillacs?
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (6) Jun 08, 2013
Never would we see this in the west :(

Agreed- too many special interests and 'fraidy-cats for infrastructure this cool.
West of where?
Try GOOGLE.
http://en.wikiped...s#Europe

Have you read your own links? "Is planned", "proposed", "if built", "dismissed"... Total maglev lines 0.0
You didnt read the comment I responded to, did you?
Never would we see this in the west :(
Never might be as soon as next year.
At last, in Europe we have some high speed (250 Km/h or more) traditional train lines, but in the US? Greyhounds or Cadillacs?
Ever hear of amtrak?

"Amtrak set an annual ridership record of 28.7 million passengers for the fiscal year ended September 30. That's 5.7% more than in fiscal 2009.

Ticket revenue rose 9% to $1.74 billion..."

-Any rail line in europe which generates that kind of revenue?
italba
2.6 / 5 (5) Jun 08, 2013
Ticket revenue rose 9% to $1.74 billion...

Were we talking about high speed or high money? If you pay nothing for new trains, nothing for new lines, nothing in research, sure you'll earn a lot of money! And you'll continue to, until customers will wake up and realize that they're riding the same trains, on the same lines, at the same speed of their grandfathers!
Huns
3 / 5 (2) Jun 08, 2013
The US should amaze their technology. Japan is still the best in terms of transportation technology.

It's true. There is always some proposal up in the air, but they either get shot down, or due to funding or engineering restrictions the date is always somewhere late in the 2020s just to get started. We used to have a fantastic electric streetcar system that went all over Los Angeles, California, with the line extending way out to San Bernardino, which is about 100KM to the east. But then General Motors and some tire company corrupted the politics because they wanted to sell buses (and bus tires.) So our magnificent streetcar system was dismantled. It wasn't until the 1990s that we even got a halfway decent subway system here. And that's all it is, halfway decent. And it will take billions of dollars to get it anywhere close to as good as it was a century ago. All so that some criminals could make more profit.
VendicarE
3.3 / 5 (7) Jun 08, 2013
Another year rolls by and Conservative America falls further behind the rest of the world.
Neinsense99
3.5 / 5 (8) Jun 08, 2013
It is sad that third world nations like the United States will never be technologically or culturally advanced enough for such trains.


Or to be able to quote speed in km/h and distance in km, like every other place in the world does.

Compare the size of the continental USA and main islands of Japan. The two are not equivalent situations.
sirchick
3 / 5 (2) Jun 09, 2013


"Amtrak set an annual ridership record of 28.7 million passengers for the fiscal year ended September 30. That's 5.7% more than in fiscal 2009.

Ticket revenue rose 9% to $1.74 billion..."

-Any rail line in europe which generates that kind of revenue?


Well i'm from UK and a 250Km/h train is not going to happen for a start our rail isn't straight for longer than 1km before it has to bend around farmland and hills.

Not only that how Uk would afford it i don't know. At most Electric trains like France have is about as far as required, but again France has very flat land so they can build straight!

250km/h maglev unless running costs can be really low and transport alot of people it just won't happen. Proposed yes - only to realise we cannot afford it.
kochevnik
3 / 5 (6) Jun 09, 2013
More likely you won't find them in the US because we don't have the population density to make it profitable. Here it's actually cheaper for everyone to drive than to try to build enough high speed rail lines to serve every significant town.
Russia is twice the size of USA but we somehow use trains and buses
VendicarE
3 / 5 (4) Jun 09, 2013
China now has the worlds fastest supercomputer by a factor of 1.75, and it isn't even complete.

Those TeaTards who demand that Americans live by 1940's era "Traditional American values" have caused America to stagnate, sell it's manufacturing sector for a quick profit and fall into rapid decline.

Uncle Sam is a scenile, angry old drunk, living off his credit card, and hoping for death to arrive at his door before the credit card runs out.

VendicarE
3 / 5 (4) Jun 09, 2013
"Compare the size of the continental USA and main islands of Japan." - Neinsense

False comparison. The proper comparison would be between cities of approximately equivalent population density.

http://en.wikiped...d_States

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