Japan to Build World’s Fastest Train: A 310MPH Maglev Monster

by , 02/18/11

japan, china, high-speed rail, high speed rail, hsr, rail, passenger rail, china high-speed rail, japan high-speed rail, rail line, maglev trains, maglev train

China and Japan have been constantly trying to outdo each other when it comes to high-speed rail. Now, the Central Japan Railway Company has announced that it plans to build the world’s fastest train. The train, to be completed in 2027, will travel between Tokyo and Nagoya on a 178 miles rail extension line, estimated to cost about $64 billion. The speedy train will run up to 310 miles per hour, cutting down the hour and half long journey by 40 minutes — the current line runs at about 167 miles per hour.

japan, china, high-speed rail, high speed rail, hsr, rail, passenger rail, china high-speed rail, japan high-speed rail, rail line, maglev trains, maglev train

To gain additional speed, the new rail will use magnetic levitation — where powerful magnets elevate the train above the track, cutting down friction. The current high-speed record is held by a Chinese passenger train that traveled 302 miles per hour (486 kilometers per hour) during a test run on a still unopened line between Beijing and Shanghai.

Via NY Times

Lead photo © hairyegg

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  1. wrcousert April 6, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    At 310MPH, it would take less than eight hours to travel from LA to NYC.

    Flight time, according to Google – five hours and forty five minutes, not counting the time it takes to drive to/from the airport, check in and go through the mandatory TSA molestation.

    Why can’t we do this?

  2. techtonix February 21, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    I agree with you completely about the US being way behind in terms of mass transit and urban development. I also agree that a typical train could usually be seen as more of an inconvenience then a service in a suburban setting.

    I would say that Japan was not always #1 in the auto industry, through their own HARD work, investment, and INNOVATION they began surging ahead in the 1980’s and they did it by selling fuel efficiency and reliability!

    I disagree with you that no one would use high-speed trains. No one wants to use Amtrak, because it only goes 60mph, and limits you to more public transit when you get to your location.
    If amtrak went 300mph from Tucson to Los Angeles, that’s a 2 hour trip!!! Instead of a 8 hour trip in a car, or a 2 hour trip in a plane.
    High speed rail is a replacement for the AIRPORT not the car!!!
    Its more far more efficient, less polluting, and logical. Simply put car rental agencies at large high-speed terminals, just like an airport.
    It’s a plane without the fuss of the TSA patdowns, layovers, enormous fuel expenses.

  3. bercenicity February 21, 2011 at 7:50 am

    @lazy, It’s Nagoya pop 2.2 mil, not Nagano (which, like Nagoya, already has conventional rail Shinkansen)

    And the pics are of conventional rail 190mph N700 series Shinkansen trains.

  4. Koarin February 21, 2011 at 1:44 am


    When you think about it, though, the US is WAY behind Japan and Europe when it comes to mass transit/trains. The Japanese public transport/train system is unparalleled in the world – trains are fast, high quality, and arrive at their destination within seconds of their planned arrival. And EVERYBODY uses trains. Not to mention their auto industry is also one of, if not the, top in the world, though that’s not entirely related.

    Americans love their suburban living, and that’s why our train systems will always be way behind the rest of the world. Putting funding into developing a high speed train system that would overtake the Japanese system would really just be a waste if there is no people that could reasonably use it.

  5. techtonix February 20, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    hey lazy,
    Lets let the Japanese do all the research and development, reserve all the patents, and then lets buy trains off of them later?

    That”s not how countries get ahead, that is not how to keep your people employed, and that is no way to get out of a debt crisis either.

    We should be doing this and selling it to the Japanese, we have more flat land, to test out such systems, we have a huge Auto and airline industry to help out! We need the gov’t to make the first push!

  6. lazyreader February 18, 2011 at 7:55 am

    I’ve heard of these concepts before. I say let them build it first. When they spend over 100 million dollars per mile. When the technology becomes more mass marketed other nations and builders will only spend a few million per mile. The high-speed train from Tokyo to Nagano, probably the most expensive high-speed rail route in the world. it cost more than half a billion dollars per mile in 1997 dollars, no doubt because much of the route is in tunnels. The train is practically empty to end at Nagano, a city of only 350,000 people. So I can’t imagine how much this idea is gonna cost.

  7. nick_gogerty February 17, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    The US has the Accela. top speed 150 mph. average speed about 75mph.

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