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JR Tokai resumes maglev tests on new section

Kyodo

Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) resumed experimental runs Thursday of its magnetically levitated trains after completing a two-year project to extend its test line.

JR Tokai plans to launch a maglev train service between Tokyo and Nagoya in 2027, enabling passengers to travel between the two cities in as little as 40 minutes.

Initial test runs began in April 1997 on an 18.4-km line, and the trains racked up a total travel distance of 878,000 km, equivalent to 22 times around the globe. The maglev train reached a top speed of 581 kph and around 146,000 people took demonstration rides.

The carrier suspended test runs in September 2011 to extend the line to 42.8 km, running from Uenohara to Fuefuki, both in Yamanashi Prefecture.

JR Tokai plans to check travel performance, ride quality and the durability of related facilities while also conducting drills for evacuation guidance in tunnels, whose distance reaches up to 23 km, with earthquake and fire disasters in mind.

According to the outline of the Liner Chuo Shinkansen project, much of the route between Tokyo and Nagoya would run through tunnels.

The link is to be stretched west to Osaka by 2045.