Tech

Japan's 311mph 'maglev' bullet train undergoes first track tests

Updated: 2013-06-05
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Japan's floating bullet trains - which will travel at up speeds of up to 311mph - have undergone their first test runs. 
 
The magnetic levitation, or 'maglev' trains, use state-of-the-art technology to reach mind-blowing speeds. 
 
The teams behind the operation aim to have an established track from Tokyo to Osaka by 2045, eventually linking the entire country from north to south. 
  
 

Japan's 'floating' trains of the future, designed to travel at speeds of 311mph, have undergone their first track tests. The Maglev trains use magnets to lift the train above the track, eliminating the wheels and therefore any incidence of friction, providing a faster and quieter service 
  
Maglev trains use magnets to lift the carriages above the track, eliminating the need for wheels and therefore any incidence of friction, providing a faster and quieter service. 
 
The first five of the Series LO cars, manufactured by Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai), are propelled by magnetic forces and have undergone initial tests that involved being pushed along the track by a maintenance car, the Telegraph reported. 
 
Official test runs are scheduled to begin in September, and are on schedule to be running between Tokyo and Nagoya, the third largest city in Japan, by 2027.
 
The sleek, aerodynamic trains are the fastest ever manufactured. 
 
Japan is well-established as the world leader in high-speed trains, having developed the first 'bullet train' in 1964. 
 
Maglev trains are the latest in high speed transport, and have reached up to 361mph in test runs. 
 
 

The teams behind the operation aim to have an established track from Tokyo to Osaka by 2045, eventually linking the entire country from north to south  

The commercial service between Tokyo and Nagoya in 2027 will connect the cities in 40 minutes, one-third of time currently required
  
China was the first country to have a commercially-operated Maglev service. 
 
The Shanghai Maglev opened to the public in January 2004, and has a top commercial operational speed of 268mph due to the short track length.It cost $1.3billion (£830million) to build. 
 
Manufacturers claim that Maglev technology is less polluting than the flights that currently link the cities. 
 
 

Mark 1: A test model maglev train from 2003. Officials claim the high-tech mass transit system is the future of travel 
 

Pioneer: Shanghai's $1.33billion maglev train has a top operating speed of 267mph 
 
SOURCE: dailymail.co.uk
 
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