The shinkansen, or bullet train as it is commonly known, is one of the unique characteristics of Japan when it comes to traveling across the country in comfort and speed. There has been tests to deliver faster and faster trains, and the Central Japan Railway Co (JR Tokai) successfully conducted the maiden public test of its new ultra-high speed magnetic levitation (maglev) train over in Tsuru, Yamanashi Prefecture, managing to hit a top speed of 500kph during its journey across the 42.8-kilometer test track.
Maglev trains have been promised as the future of public transport since about forever, but high-speed magnetic levitation systems are rapidly gaining a serious reputation — something Japan’s public demonstration of its high-speed maglev system is only going to help. The test was carried out by the Central Japan Railway Company, and was the first public demonstration of the 500kmph high-speed link that will eventually run between Tokyo and Nagoya, with service expected in 2027. The test was a demonstration of ‘L-Zero’ tech, which brings trains to an initial speed of 160kmph, before engaging the maglev system, which slowly brings the train up to the slightly scary 500kmph top speed. Maglev technology works by using a series of magnets to levitate and accelerate trains, in theory making transit more efficient, and with fewer moving parts to maintain.