Maglev car design unveiled

Kyodo News

Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai), which runs the Tokaido Shinkansen Line linking Tokyo with Osaka, has unveiled the design of its new magnetically levitated trains to be used on its maglev test line near Tokyo.

JR Tokai said Tuesday it will place an order for 14 new cars, including four lead cars. Each maglev train will have 12 cars at most.

JR Tokai will check the vibration and ride quality of the new cars in preparation for commercial operations that are planned to commence between Tokyo and Nagoya in 2027. The service will be extended to Osaka later.

The lead car’s nose is 15 meters long and is much more streamlined than existing experimental vehicles.

JR Tokai is currently extending the maglev test line in Yamanashi Prefecture from 18.4 km to 42.8 km. The extension is expected to be completed in March 2014.

Last week, a government panel released a report in which it favored the shortest route for the new maglev line, which would run through the Southern Japan Alps.

The planned Chuo Shinkansen Line, to be completed by JR Tokai by 2045, linking Tokyo with Osaka will see maglev trains running at a maximum speed of 500 kph, cutting the travel time to about 70 minutes from the current two hours and 25 minutes on the Tokaido Shinkansen Line.