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Japanese Build 500 KM/H Mag-Lev Train Prototypes

The Japanese have announced the construction of several prototypes for mag-lev (magnetic levitation) trains, which can reportedly reach a top speed of 500 km/h (311 mph).
Japanese Mag-Lev 1 photo
They will pave the way for a ‘production version’ of the trains, which will run from Tokyo to Nagoya in less than half the time required by their current conventional bullet trains (a Tokyo-Osaka route is also planned - total cost of the entire project is $112-billion).

The trains themselves can tow up to 16 carriages, which equates to roughly 1,000 passengers. However, all of this is still far away in the future, as the Nagoya route is planned to come online in 2027, while the Osaka route will be ready in 2045.

It seems like a long time to wait, especially for the Japanese who usually do things as quickly and as efficiently as possible, because the Chinese already have a high-speed mag-lev line (since 2004), and their trains can also achieve the same 500 km/h (311 mph) top speed.

Furthermore, the Chinese are also planning a vacuum tube mag-lev system, which will allow the train to travel closer to 1,000 km/h (610 mph) - the project is set to commence in 2013-2014.

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