My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: How Maglev Train travels Tokyo to Nagoya in 40 minutes and Why HyperLoop is faster

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

How Maglev Train travels Tokyo to Nagoya in 40 minutes and Why HyperLoop is faster

The Japanese Maglev Train has secured its place in the Guinness Book of World Records with the world's fastest Train.

 JR Central (Central Japan Railway), also called JR Tokai, owners of the Maglev Train, set a world record of 603 km/h (374 mph) on Tuesday April 28th 2015 as reported in the article “Japan's maglev train sets world record: 603 kph”, published April 28, 2015 By Wilfred Chan, CNN

It was set during a  test run on the Yamanashi test track in the Yamanashi  Prefecture, West of Tokyo in the foothills of Mount Fuji as reported in the article “Two new maglev speed records set in a single week in Japan”, published April 21, 2015 By Eric Mack, Gizmag.

What makes this record more interesting is that they'd already set a record of  590 km/h (366 mph) five (5) days earlier on Thursday April 23 2015, besting a record they'd set back in 2003 of 581 km/h (361 mph).

Back then one hundred (100) train enthusiasts from the Public we on board when it hit that record. When it comes online, it'll be faster than the world’s fastest commercial maglev which travels the Shanghai Route in China at 431 km/h (268 mph). 

Chuo Shinkansen Maglev Train – From Tokyo to Nagoya in 40 minutes

Activated back in 1997, Yamanashi test track has seen some 1.2 million km (745,645 miles) of test runs, with extension being added to accommodate the ever-increasing speed of the maglev trains.  

JR Central Maglev trains, which are also called the Chuo Shinkansen, will be faster than the Japanese Shinkansen that travels at speeds of 320km/h (198.4 mph) that currently takes ninety minutes (90) to travel the same 188.3 km (117 mile) distance from Tokyo and Nagoya.

The train floats on a cushion of magnetic repulsion. The repulsive force is generated between magnets on the train and in the track that have the same polarity.

Initially travelling on wheels, as the train travels faster, a cushion of air builds up under the train. Combined with the magnetic repulsion, the Chuo Shinkansen is basically hovering above its tracks, travelling on a cushion of repulsive magnetic fields and air.

80% of the Tokyo and Nagoya line will be underground, which will make it possible to travel the distance via the Chuo Shinkansen in less than forty (40) minute by 2027 as reported in the article “Japan maglev train breaks world speed record”, published 21 Apr 2015 By Julian Ryall, UK Telegraph.

The eventual aim is to have the Chuo Shinkansen travel all the way from Tokyo to Osaka, with a layover in Nagoya. The entire Tokyo to Osaka line is expected to be complete by 2045 as reported in my blog article entitled “JR Tokai to start Chuo Shinkansen Maglev by 2015 - How Elon Musk's Hyperloop is American Engineering is Faster, Cheaper and Better”.

Chuo Shinkansen a Japanese White Elephant – Elon Musk’s Hyperloop can go faster for cheaper

At $100bn (£67bn) for the Tokyo to Nagoya leg, it's going to be an expensive ride as pointed out in the article “Japan's maglev train breaks world speed record with 600km/h test run”, published Tuesday 21 April 2015 by  Justin McCurry, The Uk Guardian.   

Many Japanese doubt this will make money, especially given Japan's declining population due to the
increasing number of retired older people. Also cheaper and potential faster options, such as Tesla CEO Elon Musk's Hyperloop Passenger Train, similar to the trains shown in the movie Logan’s Run (1976) are currently being explored.

The Hyperloop Passenger Train is a high speed bullet train concept being developed by Tesla CEO Elon Musk that travels alone an evacuated Glass or Plastic Tube using pneumatic pumps to glide the train along inside the low-pressure environment. Because there is no air resistance and the train is not touching the sides of the tube, it can reach speeds of up to 1,287.5 Km/h (800 mph), up to eight (8) times as fast as the JR Central’s Chuo Shinkansen.

JR Central’s plans to sell their maglev technology to other countries may fail, as by 2045, when the Chuo Shinkansen line from Tokyo to Osaka comes one line, Hyperloop, which if also cheaper than Maglev for the same distance, will make the maglev an obsolete technology.

Still, it's a marvel of engineering and the Guinness Book of World Records with the world's fastest Train, like Usain Bolt's 100m record, will stand for a long time.

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