Japan kicks off world's fastest high-speed rail project
Friday 05 November 2010
If China's shiny new high-speed rail systems seem dizzying at 350 km/h, wait until you've seen what Japan is planning.
Last week, Central Japan Railway confirmed that it would begin building prototypes for a new type of train with a speed of 500 km/h - approaching the cruising speed of some aircraft.
The company will build 14 of the maglev (magnetic levitation) trains so that it can begin testing by the end of 2013, although commercial operations aren't scheduled to begin until 2027.
If everything goes to plan, the trainsets will run on the Chuo Shinkansen line, which will link the major conurbations of Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka, with the full route eventually expected to be open in 2045.
When it is, it'll take around 70 minutes to travel between the two major cities, less than the time it takes to fly.
The opening of such a route will signal a return to the forefront of high speed rail for Japan, which pioneered the concept but has since been overtaken commercially by European-built systems used in China, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
China's rapidly-growing high-speed rail system, which boasts top speeds of 350 km/h, is predominantly based on trains from German engineering giant Siemens.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...
£27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...
£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful group of compan...