JR Tokai gives media a peek at maglev work underway at Shinagawa Station

JIJI

Central Japan Railway Co. is making steady progress on the Chuo Shinkansen Line, which will host a magnetically levitated bullet train that will be Japan’s fastest, a media tour revealed at Tokyo’s Shinagawa Station over the weekend.

As part of work to build new platforms about 40 meters underground, an iron girder has been installed to replace track ballast and railroad ties that supported a portion of the Tokaido Shinkansen Line, the early Saturday maglev tour showed.

It will take three years to complete the replacement work to install two eastbound and two westbound maglev tracks on the new platforms, which will cover some 1,550 meters, according to the railway better known as JR Tokai.

The railway will build the new platforms under those for the Tokaido Shinkansen Line.

Iron girders will support the existing tracks before work begins to remove soil from under the platforms. The installation work began in May.

Soon after midnight Friday, about 100 personnel got to work on the new maglev facility. After cutting and removing some track, they removed both wooden and concrete railroad ties as well as track ballast.

A 12.4-meter iron girder weighing some 26 tons was installed by a German crane truck before the new tracks were placed upon it.

With only 4½ hours available to the workers each day between the last train of the night and the first train the following day — progress is limited to about 12 meters a day. JR Tokai expects that about 123 sessions will be need to finish the job.

Maglev service between Shinagawa Station and Nagoya Station is scheduled to start in 2027.