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 phys.org, 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:
- They use no wheels, which eliminates track noise.
- They are completely friction-less, although still subjected to drag caused by air.
- They operate without batteries (although, wheeled electric trains can too, using overhead power lines, which are actually very common).
- They are extremely efficient, unparalleled by any land vehicle.
- 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).