Maglev trains could cut Tokyo-Osaka trip to 67 minutes

Kyodo News

Maglev trains could shorten the travel time between Tokyo and Osaka to 67 minutes from the 138 minutes it takes today’s fastest bullet trains, Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) said Tuesday.

The estimated time is for the shortest planned route of 438 km connecting Shinagawa Station in Tokyo and Shin-Osaka Station, which could cost ¥8.44 trillion to construct, the railway said.

JR Tokai also provided estimates for two longer routes.

The company plans to construct the Tokyo-Nagoya section of the Tokyo-Osaka maglev system with its own funds by 2025.

But it has not decided on a construction schedule or financial resources for the Nagoya-Osaka portion. JR Tokai Managing Director Shin Kaneko told a news conference the company may be able to build the section with its own funds within 20 years of the commencement of services between Tokyo and Nagoya.

In a bid to start construction on the Tokyo-Nagoya section in the first half of the 2010s, JR Tokai is planning to submit a proposal to the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry by the end of next March.

However, it is expected to take the railway a long time to coordinate with Nagano Prefecture and other local governments because they want a longer route running northward through more cities to spread the economic benefits.