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Japan Testing New Shinkansen Maglev

Printable version / Version imprimable

EIRNS—As reported by Kyodo news, JR Central on Monday invited media for a test ride of the revised Linear Chuo Shinkansen, its new maglev bullet train service that will link Tokyo and Osaka at record speeds once completed. The original start of commercial operation was 2027, but that will be delayed, due to several technical and administrative problems.

The new trains, which have been on test runs on the Yamanashi experimental track in central Japan since August, will be able to reach speeds of up to 500 kph — around twice that of current bullet train services. In order to reduce vibrations and noise reflected within the train, new materials used for the end cars differ from those used for the other cars. The updated cars now have space to place bags at the foot of each seat. Compared with previous L0 Series rolling stock, the noses of the end cars are more rounded, reducing air resistance by around 13%.

The revised shinkansen represents the fourth-generation model to be designed since full-run test drives commenced on the Yamanashi line in 1997. Its weight has been reduced by using a power supply which generates electricity from coils installed both on the ground and onboard. The maglev train project is viewed as a second high-speed link for the country’s three key metropolises — Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka.

“There are many tunnels along the planned line, so we made the inside of the train cars bright and improved comfort,” said an official from Central Japan Railway Co. [rap]