A Japanese magnetic levitation (maglev) train has broken its own world speed record. In a test run near Tokyo’s Mount Fuji, the train hit 374 mph (603 km/h). The train’s previous speed record was 367 mph (590 km/h). Central Japan Railway, which owns the train, hopes to have service between Tokyo and Nagoya up and running by 2027. The 174-mile (280 km) trip would take only about 40 minutes. That is less than half the time it currently takes. The trains, however, will not operate at the maximum speed once passengers are aboard. Instead of traditional rail, like Japan’s famed Bullet Train, a maglev train uses magnets to hover above its tracks. The lack of friction allows it to reach such high speeds. By 2045, another maglev line is planned for Tokyo to Osaka. That trip would take just one hour. The Tokyo-Nagoya line is estimated to reach a cost of $100 billion. In addition to use in their home country, Japanese officials hopes to sell the technology to other countries as well. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to pitch the idea to United States officials for a line from New York City to Washington, DC.
Photo of a Japanese maglev train by Dom Pates/Flickr Creative Commons.