THE WORLD’s FASTEST TRAIN

TRAVEL The world’s fastest train, the Chuo Shinkansen, is currently being tested in Japan where it has achieved a record-breaking speed of 374 miles (603 kilometers) per hour. The train uses innovative rail technology using magnetic attraction and repulsion, which reduces friction,  to levitate the train 10 cm from the guideway and to propel it forward.  The technology has its’ origins as far back as 1902 by the work created by Alfred Zehden and seen in his US patent of 1902, in the UK through the work of Eric Laithwaite known as the “father of Maglev”, who  developed the first full-size working model of the linear induction motor, and in Germany by Herman Kemper who started working on the idea of electromagnetic levitation from 1922 with his invention of a monorail with wheelless vehicles that run on iron rails “guided and floating” on a magnetic field.

The technology has its’ origins as far back as 1902 by the work created by Alfred Zehden and seen in his US patent of 1902, in the UK through the work of Eric Laithwaite known as the “father of Maglev”, who  developed the first full-size working model of the linear induction motor, and in Germany by Herman Kemper who started working on the idea of electromagnetic levitation from 1922 with his invention of a monorail with wheelless vehicles that run on iron rails “guided and floating” on a magnetic field.

Maglev trains move more smoothly and more quietly than wheeled transit systems.  The cross-sectional area of the Chuo Shinkansen train has been reduced, the tunnel size increased and the long-nosed front of the train have all been designed to reduce air resistance, increase speed and efficiency. The train system also has the advantage of less rail maintenance, at the same time, is eco-friendly  and relatively unaffected by weather.

The Chuo Shinkansen Maglev line  (Magnetic Levitation or Linear Express as it is called in Japan) will link Tokyo to the southern city of Nagoya in 40 minutes (50 minutes faster than the current Tokaido Shinkansen line ) and will carry an estimated 1000 passengers.  Later the line will be extended to Osaka where it is expected the train journey will take 1 hour and 7 minutes with a small extra cost compared to the existing train fare.   Japan has been a pioneer in high-speed rail travel since the introduction of the first Shinkansen rail line which was opened in 1964.  It is expected that the new Chuo Shinkansen will go into service for 2027.   But with the summer Olympics scheduled for 2020 in Japan, the launch may come earlier,  depending on tests.  The Central Japan Railway Company which is developing the Maglev railway line (the system already operates at slower speeds in China and Korea) have been testing the innovative technology since 1997. The Japanese government is working with the USA Secretary of Transport to export the technology to the United States. Firstly, to develop the new Maglev line between Washington DC and Baltimore, then to extend the line to New York which will mean the  journey time will be cut between the cities  of Washington DC and New York to just one hour.

It is possible to experience the future and  visit the Train Testing and Exhibition Center which is located in Tsuru City, Japan.  The testing line itself is about 42.8 km long and it spans three cities in Yamanashi prefecture. From the viewing platform at the exhibition center, you can watch the testing runs of the Chio Shinkansen Maglev Train.

 Read and watch more @ http://edition.cnn.com/2016/10/31/asia/japan-record-breaking-maglev-train/index.html

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