High-speed train almost as fast as plane The first train of the new Hokuriku shinkansen or bullet train, bound for Tokyo, runs near Shin-Takaoka Station in Takaoka, Toyama prefecture (Getty Images / Reuters)
High-speed train almost as fast as plane
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A Japanese maglev that is the fastest passenger train in the world has broken its own speed record.

Operator JR Central said the train reached 375 miles per hour in a test run. That surpassed its record of 361 mph, 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. However, unlike regular shinkansen or "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 about 50 miles west of Tokyo. It is developing technology for use on a 250-mile link that will 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, which is expected to cost more than $76 billion, began in 2014.

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?

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COMMENTS (200)
  • Katherineh-Pav
    4/28/2015 - 09:59 a.m.

    I think it is so cool how a train could be just as fast as a plane because planes are supposed to be the fastest out of everything. No train in America goes even near 373 mph and to think that Japan could do it is incredible. It's not that surprising that Japan was able to score the record because Japan does many things that no other country has been able to do.

  • Reillym-Pav
    4/28/2015 - 09:59 a.m.

    This is so interesting! I can't imagine going on a train that's almost as fast as a plane. I also can't imagine how convenient it must be for people who don't like to fly. People could take the train instead of going on a three hour flight, they could go on a three hour train ride.

  • HAbigail-Cas
    4/28/2015 - 10:08 a.m.

    This is very very interesting, I can't even begin to think how it would feel going on a train that is as fast as riding in an airplane. I can't imagine how convenient it must be for people who don't like to fly. People could take the train instead of going on an airplane. It is also incredible to think something moving on the ground could go so fast with the help of magnetic tracks.

  • TonyF1-Bru
    4/28/2015 - 10:24 a.m.

    I think the main idea is when it showed the test run. When it said it went faster than a plane. It also said they are working on the rail system.

  • SeabassK-5
    4/28/2015 - 10:59 a.m.

    This article is about a Japanese train called the Maglev. It has exceeded 361 miles per hour. It set that record in 2003. It has now reached up to 375 miles per hour. The Japanese high-speed railroads are the most advanced in the world right now. However, unlike regular shinkansen or "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 developing technology for use on a 250-mile link that will reduce travel time between Tokyo and Osaka to just over an hour. The current minimum by bullet train is nearly three hours. Construction of the Tokyo-Osaka link, which is expected to cost more than $76 billion, began in 2014. The line will mostly run under mountains. It is due to begin operations in the late 2020s. Why won't people try and make it run underground? Will the trains start being manufactured over the world?

  • laurenm-boo
    4/28/2015 - 11:24 a.m.

    I think it might be better to run a train under a mountain than over it because the speed is faster that way and it's like a bullet going through there.

  • nittayah-boo
    4/28/2015 - 11:24 a.m.

    I think it may be easier for a train to go under a mountain rather than over top of it and that'll make it go faster as if it was a bullet.

  • JosephW-Mau
    4/28/2015 - 11:24 a.m.

    So the train broke its own speed record wow that's for a train but for a bullet train not very but to almost to be as fast as a plane thats pretty fast for a bullet train I wonder if that;s the fastest train record in the on earth if its as fast as a plane it needs to be new or at leased 3 to 6 years old

  • chrisr-boo
    4/28/2015 - 11:26 a.m.

    It would be better to run a train under a mountain rather than running it over a mountain because its faster that way. Thats whats best.

  • jaylonw-boo
    4/28/2015 - 11:29 a.m.

    Its would be better to put a train through a mountain rather than over it it would be more efficient.Its would also be faster and shorter.

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