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The company will not see financial benefits from the endeavor until the late 2020s

Central Japan Railway, better known as JR Tokai, recently announced it will fund a major $45 billion magnetic levitation (Maglev) railway system between Tokyo and Chukyo.  Even though the announcement is further commitment to the developing technology by JR Tokai, it caused a 9 percent drop in the company's stock on the Japanese financial market on Tuesday.

Maglev trains will slowly phase out the famous Shinkansen "bullet" trains, while also keeping people from flying a lot of the same distances Maglev routes will cover.  The trains operate above the ground using an electromagnetic pull that accelerates the train's speed by reducing friction between the train and track.

Japan remains dedicated towards a fully functional Maglev rail service in the country by 2025.  Japan, China and Germany are at the forefront of Maglev technology, with Shanghai being the only city that has a fully operational line.  It is likely a second route will be constructed between Nagoya and Osaka, though Tokyo and Nagoya remains the most important goal.
JR Tokai currently owns the the speed record for a Maglev train after a three-car test run in 2003 reached 581 KPH (361 MPH).

As current generations of trains expire, and countries look towards future railway technologies for transportation, some people believe Maglevs will begin to expand to other nations.

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By creathir on 12/26/2007 7:48:46 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, rail works fine in suburban type of places. Chicago (the midWEST) has one of the most effective commuter systems in the world. Granted, the trains go to a CBD (central business district) which is quite dense, but the concepts still work. Places like LA, Seattle, San Diego, San Fransisco, and Pheonix all have distinct CBDs. Almost all major cities do.

- Creathir

By afkrotch on 12/27/2007 1:08:38 PM , Rating: 2
The city needs to either be densely packed or the trains needs to be augmented with a bus system also. That or do like in Tokyo and have the train stop every like 10 blocks.

Majority of cities within the Tokyo region feels built around the trains. Everything is located around the train station. All well within walking distance. If not within walking distance, it wasn't a problem as the buses and taxi cabs were usually just outside the station.

S.Korea does the same thing, so does Britain. Just that their public transportation isn't as all encompassing as Japan. That's mainly due to costs. Japan just keeps running them, but have long wait times before it runs. Like the train from Tachikawa to Fussa is pretty empty after 7pm. So the train will sit at Tachikawa station for like an hour before making it's run. It has the long wait to gather as many ppl as possible. I usually would use that break to grab some food in the udon shop, have a smoke, and mill around the AM/PM on the platform. Other times I'd surf the web on my PSP, if I happen to be going to Akiba that day.

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