A magnetically levitated train line between Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka has reportedly been in development since as far back as the 1970s. So, it has had its stops and starts. The Central Japan Railway (aka JR Tokai) recently got a pretty big go-ahead to “to proceed with construction” from the Japanese government.
The 9-trillion-yen ($112.44-billion) project will have trains travelling at 505 kilometers (313 miles) when finally built, going from Tokyo to Nagoya in about 40 minutes and Tokyo to Osaka in 67 minutes. Wicked fast!
The project won’t be done anytime soon, though. The Tokyo-Nagoya line is expected to start carrying passengers in 2027, and the Tokyo-Osaka one in 2045.
Here’s more from Environment News Service:
“The technologies of the Superconducting Maglev have been established comprehensively and systematically, which makes it possible to draw up detailed specifications and technological standards for revenue service,” the committee said.
The world’s fastest trains, maglev trains travel without touching the ground. Instead, they run levitated above their guideway by using repulsive and attractive electromagnetic forces between superconducting magnets on board the vehicle and coils on the ground.
JR Tokai is currently running test maglev trains in Yamanashi. The test tracks, which are being extended from 18.4 km (11.4 miles) to 42.8 km (26.6 miles), will eventually be a part of the line between Tokyo and Osaka.
The line will go practically straight the whole way and will need to go through tunnels deep underground 60% of the time. The construction of the tunnels is a big reason the project will cost so much.
“In December, JR Tokai expects to begin an environmental assessment of the route running through the Akaishi Mountains, northwest of Mount Fuji.” In 2014, construction is supposed to start.
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Photos via yui.kubo; Salim Virji; ryoki
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