JR Tokai to build maglev system

NAGOYA (Kyodo) Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) said Tuesday it will spend an estimated ¥5.1 trillion to build a magnetic levitation train system between the Tokyo metropolitan area and the Chukyo region centering on Nagoya.

The railway plans to begin operating the system in 2025.

Despite the huge construction cost, which will be borne by the company alone, JR Tokai said it expects to remain stable enough to continue to pay dividends to shareholders.

The company said it will be able to chalk up a pretax profit of around ¥70 billion in fiscal 2026 when the cost of operating the maglev stabilizes.

As the debt burden decreases, JR Tokai expects to post an average annual pretax profit of about ¥140 billion in the 10 years through fiscal 2035, the Nagoya-based railway said.

Taking advantage of electromagnetic force, a maglev train can run at high speed floating slightly above the guideway. A three-car manned maglev train set a speed record of 581 kph during a test run in 2003 conducted by JR Tokai and the government-affiliated Railway Technical Research Institute.