High-speed train almost as fast as plane
This is one fast train. The fastest in the world, actually.
Now, a Japanese maglev has broken its own speed record. Operator JR Central said the passenger train reached 375 miles per hour. It was during a test run. That beat its record of 361 mph. That mark was set in 2003. The train traveled for just over a mile at a speed exceeding 373 mph.
Japan's high-speed rail services are among the most advanced in the world. Hundreds of trains run each day with minimal delays. They operate differently from traditional trains. Unlike "bullet trains" that run on steel rails, magnetic levitation trains hover above rails. The trains are suspended by powerful magnets.
The Maglev Test Line is near Mount Fuji. That is about 50 miles west of Tokyo. It is developing technology for use on a 250-mile link. That would reduce travel time between Tokyo and Osaka to just over an hour. The current minimum by bullet train is nearly three hours.
The maglev trains began as a project of Japan Airlines and the national railways with government support. The trains have undergone decades of testing. Construction of the Tokyo-Osaka link began in 2014. It is expected to cost more than $76 billion.
The line will mostly run under mountains. It is due to begin operations in the late 2020s. A similar system operates in Shanghai, China. It links its airport in the seaside suburbs of Pudong to the city's subway system.
Critical thinking challenge: CTC: Why might it be better to run a train under a mountain than over it?