Japan’s latest bullet train will utilize magnetic levitation to make it the fastest train in the world, reaching speeds of 310 miles per hour. Powerful magnets will float the train just above the track to decrease friction and increase speed, say its designers.
The £40billion rail link between Tokyo and Nagoya will leave the current 220 mph fastest train in China in the dust.
The Japanese are said to be shopping the new technology to possible partners in the United States, where President Obama is pushing to advance the nation’s rail networks. The Obama administration is proposing a £33billion high-speed rail system to unite some of America’s big urban areas, including Chicago to St Louis, Orlando to Miami, and Portland to Seattle.
But Japan’s Central Japan Railway has beaten the U.S. to the punch. The new line will renovate a section of track between Tokyo and Nagoya – Japan’s fourth largest city – a 160-mile journey that currently takes about 95 minutes.
The pace train will cut the journey time between the two cities by more than half to 40 minutes. It will later be extended to Osaka.
Central Japan Railway hopes the new link will help convince passengers to go by train rather than fly. Japan’s bullet trains previously carry more people than America’s United Continental, the world’s biggest airline.
‘It’s like launching a rocket into space,’ said Japanese financial analyst Masayuki Kubota. ‘The first time is luxurious and risky, but once it’s victorious, it can become a big business.’
China at present has the world’s longest and fastest high-speed rail network with about 4,618 miles of track.
Japan aims to complete the line by 2045 with top speeds of 220 miles per hour.