DWT sites: DWT | Gadget Shop! | WeTokyo Friendfinder | Jobs | Eigo Factory | Make your iPhone App Big in Japan

500kph maglev flying trains get green light to burn up Japan

A signature on a piece of paper in Japan this week means that the country can now start work on commercializing a new generation of high-tech trains that make the current bullet trains look like pedal-bikes.

The progress is as a result of the government approving three possible routes between Tokyo and Nagoya for Japan Railway’s experimental maglev trains that can hit speeds of around 500kph (310mph) [Subscription link].

Choosing a route is a sensitive issue due to environmental disruption, building costs and economic benefits it can bring to areas with new major stations. The technology, on the other hand, is already in the bag.

Maglev trains, as the name suggests, levitate on powerful magnetic fields above the tracks. The lack of friction means they can reach extremely high speeds.

Rather astonishingly for anyone used to most Western trains, the Japanese technology has been in the pipeline since the 1960s, with a major publically viewable 20km test track to the west of Tokyo since 1997.

The top speed reached so far at the Yamanashi test facility is 581kph (361mph). If that’s hard to picture, imagine a commercial jet aircraft flying past at full throttle at ground level – that’s in the same ballpark.

Still, we mustn’t get too excited – the Japanese say they won’t be ready to put a maglev train into service at those speeds until 2025 at the earliest and that’s at a cost of around ¥5 trillion ($50 billion).

(Crossposted to TechRadar)

Sponsored links: Our complete set of 642-447 dumps test questions and comptia network+ study guides you in exact way so you will pass your real brain dumps exam & icnd with flying colors of 350-029.

09:18 PM JMLH • Permalink
Add a comment | More DWT | Get a cool job in Japan! | Follow us on Twitter

Date much?

Japanese gadgets from Tokyo Zakka!Perfect gifts for your nerdiest friends back home!

C'mon - let's hear it...

Spammers beware: Any links in comments to commercial websites will be treated as paid advertising and will be charged at rate of $10 per link per day. Invoices will be sent to the idiots who hire you for so-called SEO jobs. All you good people will always keep it real, of course - thanks!

Support Our Sponsors: