If you’re a fan of Eurostar and letting the train take the strain when you travel to your timeshare resort, did you see the news that a record for the world’s fastest train was set in Japan recently?
A Central Japan Railway Co. magnetic-levitation train travelled at an astonishing 603 kilometers per hour (375 miles per hour). As an indication of just how fast that really is, at that same record speed, a London-Paris journey would be over in about 50 minutes, less than a quarter of the current time.
The record-breaking speed was made in a test run within Yamanashi prefecture, and smashed the company’s own record of 590 kmph set last week.
JR Central, as the company is also known, has held the record since 2003, when its train hurtled at 581 kmph.
The record-breaking run is part of the tests before JR Central starts work on commercial operations in 2027 for the Tokyo-Nagoya line.
The high-speed technology will cost $47 billion to install and Japan hopes to bring the same trains to the US, with high profile travellers such as Arnold Scwarzenegger known to be fans.
Magnetic-levitation trains, or Maglevs, rely on magnetic power to float the cars above ground, eliminating the friction of steel tracks. The trains start off running on wheels until they’re going fast enough for the magnets to kick in and create lift.
In August 2013, JR Central started resuming trials for the Maglevs that will complement the Shinkansen bullet-train network, which was introduced in 1964 and where trains now go as fast as 320 kmph.
The company spent five years building a 24- kilometre extension of a test track to send coaches as fast as 500 kmph, the speed at which commercial operations will take place.
At that speed, the new trains will whisk passengers to Nagoya from Tokyo in as little as 40 minutes for the 286-kilometer journey, from as short as 95 minutes.