JR Tokai gives maglev estimates to LDP; in favor of shortest route

Kyodo News

Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) on Thursday presented to a Liberal Democratic Party panel estimates for the construction of three possible routes of a magnetically levitated train system linking Tokyo and Nagoya.

The estimates showed that the longest route, which would divert northward into Nagano Prefecture, is expected to cost ¥5.74 trillion. This is ¥640 billion higher than the shortest route, which would run through a tunnel in the Southern Alps.

Although it is technically feasible to construct any of the three routes, JR Tokai would prefer the shortest and least expensive one, which would run for 286 km and link the Tokyo metropolitan area and the Chubu region in virtually a straight line. It would take 40 minutes for a maglev train with a top speed of 500 kph to travel from Tokyo to Nagoya on this route.

JR Tokai has said it will bear the full cost of construction if it is given the go-ahead to build the high-speed train system on this route.

However, Nagano Prefecture is backing the longest route, which would take 346 km and pass through the cities of Chino and Ina. It would take 47 minutes to travel from Tokyo to Nagoya on this route.

The final route proposed is a 334-km line that would make a modest northward diversion. The construction cost is expected to total ¥5.63 trillion and it would take 46 minutes for a maglev train to travel between Tokyo and Nagoya.

After reporting the estimates to the LDP panel, JR Tokai President Masayuki Matsumoto claimed the figures demonstrate the advantage of building the shortest route, which the carrier favors.

With the latest estimates submitted, JR Tokai plans to discuss with local governments and other entities involved regarding where to build stations and who will bear the cost.