Japan unveils High-Speed Bullet Train

Japan recently unveiled its new ‘magnetically levitated’ bullet train, designed to travel at a speed of up to 500 kilometers per hour. The train was put on an outdoor test track in Yamanashi region of central Japan. Interestingly, the train may run in India soon as Tokyo has pledged to invest heavily in building high speed railway systems in India during the Prime Minister’s visit to Japan few days back.

Officials at Central Japan Railway unveiled the L0 model on 3rd June 2013 in the track that extended to 43 kilometers to enable full-fledged test runs. The test model was a 5-car train, pulled by a locomotive, ran on the track slowly to check whether the train bottom has proper clearance from devices on the ground.

Commercial runs of these maglev (magnetically levitated) trains are scheduled to start between Tokyo and Nagoya in 2027. Then, it would be a 16 carriage train with a capacity to carry up to 1,000 passengers at a time as per reports. Japan had unveiled its first bullet train known as “shinkansen” in 1964 that coincided with its hosting of the Olympic Games.

India is set to benefit from this bullet train technology as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe issued a joint statement last month in which they mentioned about the two country’s co-operation on setting up high speed railway systems in India. The joint statement also stated that the two countries have decided to co-finance a joint feasibility study of high speed railway system on Mumbai-Ahmadabad route in India.

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