The World’s fastest Train
JR-Maglev MLX01 — Japan • Top Speed: 361 mph • Rail Type: Maglev
Japan’s status as the first adopter of high-speed rail in 1964 has made it a prime innovator and trailblazer in HSR technology. Currently, there is a network of seven Shinkansen passenger and freight bullet train lines spanning the entire country, with the Tokaido Shinkansen from Tokyo to Osaka as its main artery. As traditional steel-wheels-on-steel-rail technology reaches its limits, however, JR-Central, the trains’ owner and operator, has continued its decades-long research into maglev technology, which uses high powered magnets to levitate the train above the rails for faster speeds and reduced friction. Achieved in 2003, the MLX01 train holds the record for fastest train in the world. JR-Central has been investing in infrastructure to develop a maglev rail system independent of the extant Shinkansen network that could attain reliable speeds up to 310 mph. JR hopes to have the Tokyo-Osaka Chuo Shinkansen maglev line running by 2045.
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