Japan’s maglev train sets world record: 603 kph – World’s Fastest Train Records Speed of 603 Kilometers Per Hour (374.6 MPH).
A Central Japan Railway Co. magnetic-levitation train traveled at the record-breaking speed in a test run within Yamanashi prefecture, beating the company’s own record of 590 kmph set last week. JR Central, as the company is also known, held the record since 2003, when its train hurtled at 581 kmph. At the record speed, a London-Paris journey would be over in about 50 minutes, less than a quarter of the current time.
The record-breaking run is part of the tests before JR Central can start commercial operations in 2027 on the Tokyo-Nagoya line, which it’s constructing at a cost of 5.52 trillion yen ($47 billion). Japan has been seeking to sell its high-speed train technology to the U.S. and previously had high-profile travelers such as then California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and transportation secretary Ray LaHood five years ago.
Japan is looking for an overseas customer for maglev technology as the country works toward opening its first major line. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said the government may provide financing to support Central Japan Railway Co.’s bid to provide trains for a Washington-Baltimore line.
Magnetic-levitation trains, or Maglevs, rely on magnetic power to float the cars above ground, eliminating the friction of steel tracks. The trains start off running on wheels until they’re going fast enough for the magnets to kick in and create lift.