Japan’s Maglev Train sets new speed record at 590 kph

A magnetic levitation (maglev) train in Japan has broken the world speed record by hitting 366mph.

The Central Japan Railway Company said the seven-car train completed a test run on an experimental track in Yamanashi on Thursday.

Central Japan Railway Co., which is developing a vehicle that it sees as the long-distance, mass transportation system of the future, is aiming to break the 600km per hour (372.82mph) in more tests scheduled for next week.

The train was operated on a test course constructed in Yamanashi prefecture in central Japan. The previous record of 581 kilometers per hour was set in December 2003. A spokeswoman at the company, known as JR Central, said the new record is likely to be short-lived, since the next test ride on Tuesday might see the train break 600 kilometers per hour.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to talk up Japan’s train prowess on a visit to the U.S. starting April 26. Mr. Abe’s trip includes a stop in California, which is planning a high-speed rail line.

All the world records have been achieved as the company is stepping up preparations to start its maglev train services in 2027 to connect Tokyo’s Shinagawa Station with Nagoya, which are 286 km apart, in 40 minutes. That will be less than half the time existing bullet trains take to make the trip.

Maglev projects have been put into operation previously – Shanghai put its Transrapid system into operation in 2004 and similar vehicles are used at airports in South Korea and Beijing – although Japan is regarded as the world leader in the technology and nothing on the scale of the Tokyo-Nagoya route has ever before been attempted before.

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