Japan is working on a blazing fast 310 mph maglev “floating” train – and the latest prototype just hit the tracks for testing! This week Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Central) unveiled the top-of-the-line Lo series maglev train, which is currently slated to enter commercial operation between Tokyo and Nagoya in 2027. The new train service will bypass the Tokaido Shinkansen Line, slashing travel time between the two cities from two and a half hours to one hour and seven minutes.

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The L0 series, also known as the “Linear motor car,” is expected to eventually service the entire Chuo Shinkansen Line, which links Tokyo with Osaka through Nagano Prefecture and Nagoya.

The train is designed to operate at 500 kph and it’s only 28 meters long – including a 15-meter-long streamlined “nose” that reduces air resistance at high speed. The subsequent cars are 24.3 meters long and they are designed to provide more interior space than current Shinkansen models. The maglev train has four seats in a row – one less than Shinkansen models.

“This is the first step toward commercial operations,” said Yasukazu Endo, director of the Yamanashi linear test center. “Everything is being done to gear up for a full-fledged test.” If all goes to plan, the new generation L0 Series trains will begin commercial service in 2027. The news marks the latest chapter in the ‘bullet train wars’ in Asia, wherein Japan is competing with China’s 268 mph Shanghai maglev train.

+ Central Japan Railway Co.

Via The Telegraph

Images: Yosuke Fukudome