The world is no stranger to Japanese technology. The latest technological news from Japan is the upcoming introduction of magnetic levitation (maglev) trains. The Central Japan Railway has granted the go-ahead to break ground on a maglev train line.
These high-speed trains are fast, very fast. In 2003 when these trains were beginning to be tested in Japan, their highest-possible speed was mind-boggling. It clocked-in at 581 km/hour (361 miles/hour). See the video below to see a demonstation. This is comparable with air travel.
Maglev trains are by far the world’s fastest trains, and travel without even touching the track. They travel levitated above their guideway with their built-in repulsive and electromagnetic power. Currently, there is only one commercially operating maglev train in the world, in China.
You must have played with magnets, these trains work on the same principle. The basic principle of maglev trains is to install heavy-duty magnets on the under-side of a train to generate an electromagnetic force. This electromagnetic force is strong enough to counteract gravity when magnets come into contact with a steel railway track.
Traveling from Tokyo to Osaka requires two hours and twenty five minutes. After the launch of these high-speed trains, it should only take about one hour. This project has come with a price tag of 9 trillion yen so far (1 yen is currently worth .01 U.S dollar)
On the face of it, Maglev trains are a good idea for several reasons. These ultra high-speed trains are an excellent alternative to emissions intensive jetliners. Moreover, because of their ultra-fast speed, they could be a real time-saver for the national traveler, which in turn could aid national productivity as far as business is concerned. A new railway track between Tokyo and Osaka is expected to start operations by 2027.