• Kyodo


Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Central) on Monday invited media for a test ride of the revised Linear Chuo Shinkansen, its new magnetically levitated bullet train service that will link Tokyo and Osaka at record speeds once completed.

The new trains, which have been on test runs on an experimental track in Yamanashi Prefecture since August, will be able to reach speeds of up to 500 kilometers per hour — around twice that of current shinkansen services.

The interior of the cars employs a bright design based on a white motif, with widened seats and higher backrests to ensure spacious comfort for each passenger. The seats, which use a new style of cushion, are all outfitted with USB charging ports.

In order to reduce vibrations and noise transmitted within the train, new materials used for the end cars differ from those used for the other cars. The updated cars also have space to place bags at the foot of each seat.

The revised shinkansen marks the fourth generation model to be designed since full-run test drives commenced on the Yamanashi line in 1997. Compared with previous L0 Series rolling stock, the noses of the end cars are more rounded, reducing air resistance by around 13%.

Its weight has also been reduced by using a power supply that generates electricity from coils installed both on the ground and on board.

The maglev train project is viewed as a second high-speed link for the country’s three key metropolises — Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka.

“There are many tunnels along the planned line, so we made the inside of the train cars bright and improved comfort,” said a JR Central official.

Local governments and residents in Shizuoka Prefecture oppose construction work on the maglev line, and have forced the operator to give up on its original plan to open the new line between Tokyo and Nagoya in 2027.

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