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Japan Sets Train Speed Records Twice in a Few Days

Maglev trains owned by Central Japan Railway were clocked traveling at speeds of 603 km/h, less than week after traveling 590 km/h to set a record last set in 2003.
April 23, 2015, 11am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"Japan has again demonstrated its prowess in high-speed rail travel with its state-of-the-art maglev train setting a world record of just over 600km/h (373mph), just days after it broke its previous 12-year-old record," reports Justin McCurry.

"The seven-car maglev – short for 'magnetic levitation' – reached a top speed of 603km/h on Tuesday during what officials described as a 'comfortable' zip along a test track near Mount Fuji."

Central Japan Railway, a private rail company hoping to attract investors overseas in addition to at home, achieved the records using its Lo Series train. There is a long way to get yet, however, until maglev service is launched in Japan. Maglev is planned for operation by 2027, between Tokyo and Nagoya, 286km away. And "[b]y 2045 maglev trains are expected to cover the 410km between Tokyo and Osaka in one hour and seven minutes, cutting the journey time in half," according to McCurry. High costs—$100 billion for the Tokyo-Nagoya line, for instance—are causes for concern.

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Published on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 in The Guardian
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