The Central Japan Railway has just been granted the go-ahead to break ground on a massive maglev train line that will ferry high-speed trains across japan at blazing speeds up to 313 miles per hour. The hovering trains will connect Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka through lines that run much more efficiently than traditional trains. The project, which has been on the table since the 1970s, will cost the Japanese government a modest sum of 9 trillion yen.

high speed trains, green design, eco design, sustainable design, Maglev trains, hover craft, Central Japan Railway, JR Tokai

Maglev trains are known as the fastest in the world. Rather than running on traditional rails, these next-gen trains hover above the ground, which significantly reduces friction. The trains are levitated by a system that consists of coils laid beneath the tracks and super conducting magnets located on the trains. Repulsing and attracting electromagnetic forces propel the vehicles along at incomparable speeds.

Just how fast? Maglev trains can reach a speed of 313 mph, cutting the proposed route from Tokyo to Osaka to just over an hour. That is more than double the speed of Amtrak’s Acela Express High Speed Rail, which hits a top speed of 150 mph!

Much of the route is already built, but extensive tunnels must be constructed to run between the three cities. The tunnels will take up about 60% of the route, and also siphon most of the project’s giant budget. Construction of the tunnels isn’t anticipated to commence until 2014. The long-term project anticipates the Tokyo-Nagoya route to be completed in 2027, and the Tokyo-Osaka line will be finished in 2045.

Via Environmental News Service and Cleantechnica

Lead photo by Yui Kubo