Japan operator reveals high-speed maglev train

November 23, 2012

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

TSURU, Yamanashi Prefecture--A rail operator has unveiled a prototype high-speed magnetic levitation train, which it plans to operate on one of Japan's busiest routes from 2027.

On Nov. 22, Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) revealed its Series L0 prototype, which after further development could enter service carrying passengers at speeds of 500 kph on the Chuo Shinkansen Line.

So-called maglev trains use magnetic repellence to lift the train above the track, eliminating friction.

JR Tokai aims to run the train between Tokyo and Nagoya on the JR Chuo Shinkansen Line, a route currently served by Japan's high-speed bullet trains. The service will be expanded to Osaka by 2045.

The new train features a streamlined nose similar to those on its bullet train counterparts, which reduces wind drag. JR Tokai plans the train to comprise 14 carriages including the cab car. The carriages contain four seats abreast; the end car can accommodate 24 passengers, while other cars will hold 68.

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
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Yasukazu Endo, general manager of JR Tokai’s Yamanashi Maglev Test Center, answers questions from reporters, in Tsuru, Yamanashi Prefecture, on Nov. 22. The Series L0 is seen in the background. (Taku Hosokawa)

Yasukazu Endo, general manager of JR Tokai’s Yamanashi Maglev Test Center, answers questions from reporters, in Tsuru, Yamanashi Prefecture, on Nov. 22. The Series L0 is seen in the background. (Taku Hosokawa)

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  • Yasukazu Endo, general manager of JR Tokai’s Yamanashi Maglev Test Center, answers questions from reporters, in Tsuru, Yamanashi Prefecture, on Nov. 22. The Series L0 is seen in the background. (Taku Hosokawa)

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