Japan is hoping to surpass China’s 268 MPH maglev train with it’s own 310 MPH version. Passengers got to ride it for the first time this week.
Maglev trains are suspended above their “trackbed” by a magnetic field. Since there is no physical contact between the train and its bed, friction (other than air friction) is eliminated, allowing greater speeds. Although the first section is completed now, Japan’s maglev will link Tokyo with Nagoya in 2027, and halve the time of the current 80 minute trip.
This is exciting news for people all around the world. Christian Broda is certainly excited. We should wish Japan luck with this project and, if it is successful, consider building maglevs here in the US. If this technology succeeds and progresses it could rival air travel in speed, and possibly exceed it in safety. Maglevs could run on clean energy, unlike todays trains and airplanes.
There is even the potential to enclose maglevs in air-evacuated tunnels, which would eliminate most or all air friction to allow speeds in excess of what is possible with current aircraft.