Clean Transport

Published on November 30th, 2012 | by Nicholas Brown


Blisteringly Powerful 310 MPH Train Unleashed

November 30th, 2012 by  

The JR Tokai (JR Central Railway Company) from Japan has unveiled a MAGLEV electric train that can attain speeds of 310 MPH.

It has been under development for a very long time, and it is still just slated to commence service in 2027, but we can ogle it anyway!

The train will first be implemented on a route between Tokyo and Nagoya. It is expected to take 40 minutes to travel this160-mile route, which cuts the current travel time in half.

According to, it utilizes a 92-foot-long front car, of which 49 feet form an aerodynamic nose section, and JR Tokai plans to expand it to serve Osaka at a total cost of $102 billion.

The train is designed to pull up to 15 cars and transports up to 1,000 commuters.

MAGLEV (Magnetically Levitated) trains operate in a unique manner, and provide the following benefits:

  1. They use no wheels, which eliminates track noise.
  2. They are completely friction-less, although still subjected to drag caused by air.
  3. They operate without batteries (although, wheeled electric trains can too, using overhead power lines, which are actually very common).
  4. They are extremely efficient, unparalleled by any land vehicle.
  5. They can be powered by any fuel, including renewable ones, because they are electric.

Even their motors are not fully mounted on the train. Part of the linear electric motor is on the bottom of the train, and the other part is on the track.

Permanent magnets are mounted on the bottom of the train, and computer-controlled electromagnets on the track push the train forward.

The high speed of MAGLEV trains may have some indirect practical benefits. For example, they should encourage more ridership, because high-speed transportation is greatly appreciated by many that need to get to their destinations promptly (sometimes I wonder how many people are late for work every day).

Source: Inhabitat
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About the Author

writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is:

  • Conrad Clement

    Can anybody explain the intrinsic usefulness of daily commuting between two big cities? Why not have instead the commuters move respectively to the city where they work? I’d really like to see the problematic complexity of this issue discussed to some length…

    • Conrad Clement

      Some more concerns to broaden my own questioning:

      How will the new high-speed rail link between Tokyo and Nagoya impact on current intense commuting from and to the respective suburbs and smaller peripheral cities?

      Will this lead to a bipolar urban black hole attracting all of the remaining populations from both suburban and surrounding rural areas — with the specter of fatally over-industrialized agriculture closing in?

      IMHO the personal aircraft is indeed the solution deemed to cater for both intercity and peripheral commuting — and BTW help connect Japan more efficiently to its neighbors…

      • Bob_Wallace

        40 million people use the Greater Tokyo rail system daily. I think personal aircraft is not a solution.

    • it’s going to happen. it’s inevitable. while i wish people would and could locate themselves 100x better than they do, that is simply idealistic.

    • Altair IV

      I don’t think you’ll find any significant numbers of daily commuters between these cities, but you will find some. There are, for example, situations where a worker is transferred, but the family wants to continue living where they were. And considering that some commutes from the Tokyo suburbs to the downtown are already upwards of 1-2 hours one-way, in standing-room-only trains, the high-speed service could even be preferred.

      But in any case, the Tokyo-Nagoya-Kyoto-Osaka route is certainly the busiest corridor in the country, so any attempt to improve the high-speed system tends to pay off in the long run. The existing Shinkansen service is constantly working to shave off even a few minutes all the time.

      (BTW, is anyone else unable to enter line-breaks in these reply fields? I had to type this up in a separate editor?)

      • Bob_Wallace

        RE: The BTW, I have to post and then edit in the breaks.

        Try a copy and paste from Wiki sometimes if you want to see something nasty….

      • disqus, sorry. best system i know of.

  • Envisave

    I wish the Japanese technology comes to India, as it has severely strained train infrastructure in operation. I hope this could also reduce energy dependency by certain standards.

  • This is what an energy constrained country does…


    • Edward Kerr

      This is what a “SMART” energy constrained country does….the entire world is energy constrained and we in this country had better get out heads out of our butts on this issue.

      • competing industry can financially influence lawmaking legally, until that changes, I don’t expect great things to happen…..

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