You tube has been flooded with videos of the fastest trains in Japan. These trains are being developed by JR Central and are capable of speeds beyond 500 km/h, yes that’s beyond turbo prop aircraft zone. These trains would compete with regional airliners for speed. In fact, they would be faster, city center to city center than even a commercial airliner. These trains would float in air on the tracks thanks to the technology of magnetic levitation. The idea is to create a magnetic field which suspends the train in the air and then push the train ahead at high speeds.

The first prototype that was built was called the L0 and had seven cars. It used gas turbines for producing power for running the lighting and air conditioning onboard the train. This prototype has been developed with Hitachi. Now, a new prototype has been developed at at Hitachi’s Kasado works in Kudamatsu. This new prototype replaces one of the end cars and a trailer car. The idea is to replace the GT and allow for contact power supply from the tracks for the lighting and air conditioning. Also, the aerodynamics has been improved and the train is expected to face 13% less air resistance. This will significantly reduce the power consumption and the noise due to the wind.

JR Central hopes to begin commercial maglev services between Tokyo and Nagoya in 2027, with the Nagoya – Osaka section planned for completion by 2037.