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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 JohnnyCNote on 12/26/2007 8:25:42 PM , Rating: 2
. . . by Jeb Bush managed to have the vote overturned and the project was killed. It was supposed to connect South Florida with Orlando and Tampa, some of the most popular tourist destinations in the state. So instead we have more perpetual construction zones, gridlocked highways, air pollution, crazy drivers, etc, etc, to look forward to (at least until the gas runs out).

I just returned from London. The rail and subway (aka "Underground") system there puts the US to shame. I was able to ride from central London to Heathrow Terminal 4 for 4GBP (about 8 bucks). It took no longer than it would have to travel by car/taxi/bus and couldn't have been more convenient.

There's a similar system connecting JFK, LaGuardia and Newark airports, and the BART was extended to SFO, but those are among a small handful of exceptions . . .




By Ringold on 12/27/2007 12:00:12 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sure you've been through the area served by those 3 air ports.. You bring that up along with Orlando, with all of 3 decently sized buildings downtown until just recently, and Tampa, still a sliver the size. Not to mention driving from the Northern end of the Orlando area (Sanford) to the docks along the water in Tampa is about a 2 hour drive along I-4 at slightly-faster-than-legal speeds, with not really a ton between the two (except Dinosaur Land and Fantasy of Flight). It makes more sense that the unending East coast megalopolis of the North has a bit more service..

You'd be happy to know that Disney has in fact succeeded on force-feeding light rail on Orlando. They'll get their direct injection of money to their jugular vein, and local tax payers have agreed to pay for this. In theory, it connects Sanford, Lake Mary etc to the North as well, but projections on how much traffic it'll take off of I-4 have not been impressive. This shouldn't be a surprise since it's on the wrong side of town for Disney, but the fastest growing parts of Orlando with a flood of new high-paying jobs, the UCF, Lake Nona and other area's off to the East? Completely, absolutely left in the cold. The 408 today is much more clogged then I-4, and people *pay money* for the 408 as you're probably aware. Not that Colonial is a viable alternative, as fun as it is spending 30 minutes to get through Chinatown.

So why did Jeb scuttle rail when he could? Why did Orlando residents try their damndest to do it a second time after we'd already said no at least one or two other times on ballots? Because apparently slightly less than half of local tax payers didn't see why they should support Disney when the future is clearly in Lake Nona, UCF and the flood of biotech, medical, IT and engineering jobs being added there. There's little future in job growth with Disney.

To be fair, now that everything has been established and Disney can sleep well knowing they've got Orlando to bend over for them, there is idle talk of some sort of unknown east-west rail link; no time frame, no specific type of rail, and no thoughts on how to address the fact there's no money, no existing freight track and no right of way available to them. But hey, it's all good, Mickey Mouse and 5 year olds got what they want; the rest of us can get scraps off the floor.

Jeb Bush was doing us favor.


By JohnnyCNote on 12/27/2007 10:32:42 AM , Rating: 2
Enjoy your Orlando area traffic. Soon enough you'll be like LA - gridlock, smog so thick the air is brown. It's bad enough up here in Jacksonville, but I go out of my way to avoid I4 . . .


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