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KOFU, Yamanashi Pref. (Kyodo) Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) and its business partners shipped the lead car of a magnetically levitated train Tuesday from its experimental center in Yamanashi Prefecture to a Tokyo research institute for weather-durability tests.

The car, being transported on a tractor-trailer, was scheduled to arrive at Railway Technical Research Institute in Kokubunji, western Tokyo, in the early hours of Wednesday, JR Tokai said.

JR Tokai plans to conduct the testing in Tokyo as it needs to evaluate the maglev’s durability in various weather conditions, something the Yamanashi test track, with its numerous tunnels, cannot provide, the company said.

Engineers at the Kokubunji institute plan to place the maglev outdoors to check how the sun, wind and rain affect its body and coating.

“We want to collect data on the car’s truck frame because it uses different materials from a bullet train,” a JR Tokai official said.

The maglev train set a world speed record of 581 kph in December 2003 during a test run on the experimental track in Tsuru, Yamanashi Prefecture.

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