Last year Japan set to work testing the world’s fastest “floating” maglev train, which can hit top speeds of over 310 mph. Now, keen to share (or show off) their feat to the rest of the world, the Japanese government has offered to loan the US half of the $8 billion required to create a Super-Maglev route between Washington DC and Baltimore. If the plans go ahead, the high-speed train would cut times for the 37-mile commute from one hour to just 15 minutes!

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The heavily-trafficked 37-mile stretch between Baltimore and Washington is just one piece of a larger proposal to establish a Super-Maglev train line that would extend from DC along the Northeast Corridor to Boston. According to the Telegraph, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe suggested a collaboration during a meeting with President Obama in February of last year, with Abe saying: “I want to propose that (the United States) introduce the Maglev train system to represent Japan-US cooperation.”

If reports are to be believed, a Northeast Corridor Maglev line is not entirely a pipe dream. The Japanese government has said that they have received interest from the US at both state and federal level. Meanwhile, the cities of Baltimore and DC have been looking to have their own Maglev system for over 10 years. The two cities first proposed the line back in 2001—independent of Japanese interest—but the project stalled as uncertainty over funding remained.

The “Super-Maglev” Series L0 train was developed by the JR Central Railway Company, and the first of the levitating 310 mph vehicles will go into service on a route between Tokyo and Nagoya in 2027. The 92-foot-long train will be able to transport 1,000 commuters along the 167-mile route in just forty minutes. As for a route between DC and Baltimore, Abe believes that the line could be operational within the next ten years, and it could serve as a flagship for adoption of the technology within the US.

+ JR Central Railway Company

Via The Telegraph