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1/29/16

Railroads: Magnetic trains: Attracting interest in Japan - by Anmar Frangoul

A nation with technology at its heart, Japan is already home to a dizzying array of high tech gadgets, gleaming skyscrapers and even restaurants staffed by robots.

When it comes to transport the country can also boast a proud record of innovation. Its Shinkansen network is famous for electrified, high-speed -- and safe -- train travel.

 5.6 billion people between Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka at top speeds of 285 kilometers per hour (177 miles per hour).

On parts of the Tohuku Shinkansen, which runs between Tokyo and Shin-Aomori, trains can reach speeds  of up to 320 kph.

In April last year a Maglev – short for magnetic levitation – reached a top speed of 603 kilometers per hour (375 mph). 

"The Maglev train works thanks to superconducting magnets mounted into the linear motor train, reacting to the coils built into the guide way," the Yamanashi Maglev Exhibition Center's Makiko Kajiwara, said.

"They create a magnetic force that lifts the train 10 cm off the ground while it moves," Kajiwara added.

According to the Maglev Exhibition Center, the linear Chuo Shinkansen "will be the fastest bullet train in the world." It is hoped that the line will go into operation on the Tokyo-Nagoya route in 2027.

"The Maglev would emit a third of CO2 emitted by a plane for the same distance. So it's a very environmentally friendly transport solution," Kajiwara said.

Read more: Magnetic trains: Attracting interest in Japan: Anmar Frangoul

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