Central Japan Railways Co. (JR Tokai) said Wednesday it will try to get its magnetically levitated train to break its own world speed record in late November or early December.
JR Tokai said the test runs are intended to break the record of 552 kph by reaching 580 kph.
The maglev floats on a magnetic field, eliminating wheel friction at high speeds. JR Tokai first ran a maglev in July 2000.
The test runs will be conducted on an 18.4-km experimental track in Yamanashi Prefecture, according to JR Tokai President Yoshiyuki Kasai.
“We want to obtain data necessary for the design of commercial lines in the future and confirm the safety and durability of the trains by testing the limits of the trains and ground facilities,” Kasai said.
He said JR Tokai will also have the maglev run for about 2,400 km a day, double the current daily run, between the end of this month and early next month to confirm the durability of the train and such ground facilities as transformers.
Industry analysts, however, say the railway operator should clear cost problems to put maglev trains into commercial use.
In addition to its huge initial construction costs, further technological developments are essential to make the maglev profitable, they say.
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