Japan is track testing its new high-speed magnetic levitation (maglev) train, which is designed to travel at 310 mph.
The L0 maglev train floats above its track and is propelled by powerful magnets, eliminating friction that limits the speeds of conventional trains.
The Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) unveiled a prototype of the L0 train in November 2012, with plans to run it from Tokyo to Nagoyo, a 40-minute journey, starting service in 2027.
By 2045, the maglev train should connect Tokyo and Osaka, Japan’s second largest city, and seat 1,000 passengers.
In a June 3 test, five train cars were pulled by a special maintenance vehicle, according to the Telegraph, proving they levitate above the track, as intended.
Japan has been operating high-speed bullet trains for nearly 60 years, which now travel at about 199 mph.
In the United States, transportation secretary Ray LaHood has called for a national high-speed rail system on which trains would travel at about 220 mph, but that remains a pipe dream for the time being.
California is inching toward building a 220 mph high-speed rail line, but cost and legal issues have held the project back.
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