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Economy and Industry

Q. What are maglev trains like?

Japan’s Maglev train is called the Linear Motor Car. This term, based on English, was created by Kyotani Yoshihiro, who was one of the first developers of the technology. Kyotani pushed ahead with building the world’s first next-generation, high-speed railway using a superconductor system found only in Japan.

The Linear Motor Car, currently under construction in Japan, will run at 500kph, floating 10cm above the ground. The high speed is made possible by using the fact that opposite poles of magnets will attract each other, while the same poles will push each other away.

It has a normal operation speed of 500kph, with a designed top speed of 550kph. During testing in 2015, however, a maximum speed of 603kph was reached, which was certified by the Guinness Book of Records.

The Linear Motor Car is scheduled to begin operation in 2027, running between Shinagawa Station in Tokyo and Nagoya. It had been planned to reach Osaka by 2045, but advances in construction have moved the schedule ahead by eight years to 2037. When it is finished, passengers will be able to travel from Tokyo to Osaka in just 67 minutes (currently it takes 2 and a half hours on the fastest bullet train).