Published on June 14th, 2013 | by Andrew Meggison
New Maglev Train Debuts In Japan
Central Japan Railway has tested the newest Maglev L0 Train, and the results are promising. The train is expected to carry 1,000 passengers and can travel up to 311 MPH, allowing the new train to travel over 200 miles from Tokyo to Nagoya in 40 minutes.
Maglev trains are basically trains held up by magnets. Maglev is derived from magnetic levitation with Maglev referring to the vehicle and the “track” system. The train does not sit on a track but rather hovers in the air and this cuts down on friction, wear and tear on the train, sound, and you get an increase in speed. Maglev trains are also referred to more commonly as bullet trains.
So why do we not have these space aged trains everywhere? Well, they require a lot of safety monitoring, the systems are expensive, and it turns out consumers get a little freaked out traveling on a floating platform at over 300 miles per hour.
Japan was the first country to introduce Maglev trains and use them as a tool of mass transportation. The Japan’s first use of this technology was during the 1964 Olympics and the train traveled at 130 miles per hour. China uses Maglev trains and currently the Chinese Maglev train has a top speed of 286 miles per hour. That means when the new Japanese system in up in running around 2027 it should be the fastest train in the world with a top speed of 311 miles per hour.
Meanwhile, America struggles to get trains to go over 100 mph. At this rate it will only take us another 50 years to catch up with Japan.
Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. Being an Eagle Scout, Andrew has a passion for all things environmental. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail. You can follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewMeggison