Japan unveils 500 kmph bullet train

TOKYO: Fast and Furious! Japan has unveiled its new “levitating” bullet train, designed to travel at speeds of upto 500 kmph, which has undergone its first test on tracks.

Japan’s first commercial model of a magnetically levitated train has been placed on an outdoor test track.

Officials at Central Japan Railway unveiled the L0 model on Monday at its test track in Yamanashi Prefecture, central Japan.

The track is being extended to 43 kilometres to enable full-fledged test runs.

The 5-car train, towed by a locomotive, ran on the track slowly to check whether the train bottom has proper clearance from devices on the ground.

Commercial runs of the maglev train are scheduled to start between Tokyo and Nagoya in 2027.

The train will travel at speeds of up to 500 kilometres per hour and will link the 2 cities in 40 minutes, NewsonJapan.com reported.

The train boasts a semi-square cross-section to maximise the interior space.

The final train will consist of 16 carriages carrying up to 1,000 passengers at a time, with plans underway to extend the line to Osaka by 2045, according to media reports.

The plan is ultimately to create a high-speed mass transit maglev network across the country.

It was in 1964 that Japan was propelled to the forefront of transport technology after it unveiled its first bullet train – known as “shinkansen” – to coincide with its hosting of the Olympic Games.

India is set to benefit from the famed Japanese bullet train technology, with Tokyo pledging to invest heavily in building high speed railway systems in the country.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe issued a joint statement last month in which they laid down the course of co-operation between the two countries on setting up high speed railway systems in India.