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Japan confirms world's fastest maglev plan

310mph, $45bn project

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Japanese rail operator Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Central) has announced it will build the world's fastest maglev system, with 310mph (500km/h) vehicles running along a 180-mile (290km) track between Tokyo and central Japan.

According to Reuters, the 5.1 trillion yen ($44.7bn) project will be completed by 2025, and while JR Central has not confirmed the final destination, previous reports suggested a "first phase" between Tokyo and the central industrial city of Nagoya, with a later extension to Osaka.

A company spokesman confirmed that the new maglev, designed to replace the country's famous bullet trains, will outpace its Shanghai counterpart - currently the world's only commercially-operative example of the tech which flies at a modest 267mph (430km/h).

In China meanwhile, state media proudly reported earlier this month that the country's first 190mph (300km/h) bullet train has rolled off the production line, destined to cut journey times from 80 to 30 minutes on the 71-mile (115km) Beijing-Tianjin route, and due to enter service before the Olympics kick off in August next year.

Wang Yongping, a Ministry of Railways spokesman, explained that the streamlined aluminium alloy train is the "lightest of its kind in the world", and duly enthused: "China has joined an elite world club after Japan, France and Germany, to become the fourth country capable of turning out such high speed trains."

France is, of course, the operator of the world's fastest conventional tech train, which regularly reach 199mph (320km/h). Back in April, it broke the world's fastest "train on rails" record by accelerating a modified TGV to an impressive 356mph (574.8km/h). ®

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