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Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) said Wednesday it will take as long as three decades to pay for its planned maglev line.

The railroad expects to begin operating a 43-km stretch of its Tokyo-Nagoya magnetically levitated train line for paying customers sometime after 2013, Chairman Yoshiyuki Kasai said, without giving more details on the time frame.

A maglev system uses magnetic power to propel trains that float above the track.

Kasai also said he expects the ¥5.1 trillion maglev line, combined with bullet-train service, to be profitable in 2027, its first year of operation.

He said it would take between 25 and 30 years to repay the investment, which the transport ministry has said will probably cost closer to ¥5.5 trillion.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood rode 502 kph on a maglev train at JR Tokai’s test track in May.

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