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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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RE: Sounds great
By irev210 on 12/27/2007 5:47:57 PM , Rating: 2
Why do they refuse to build new maglev trains in NYC? Because it is expensive. New York actually operates a pretty tight ship, especially relative to other US and Global transit systems.

NYC tunnels may be 100 years old, but tracks, signals, switching systems and trains are constantly being upgraded.

You marvel about Hong Kong and the rest of the world but just look at ridership statistics below. New York City moves almost twice as many people every year vs hong kong. Hong Kong also gets extremely crowded during rush hour just as New York does (and yes, I've been to Tokyo, Hong Kong, London, San Fran, DC, NYC and reside in Boston... I know my subways).

Annual Subway Ridership
1. Tokyo 2.863 billion
2. Moscow 2.603 billion
3. New York City 1.499 billion
4. Seoul 1.466 billion
5. Mexico City 1.441 billion
6. Paris 1.373 billion
7. London 971 million
8. Osaka 880 million
9. Hong Kong 867 million
10. St. Petersburg 810 million

You say "in other countries you pay the same" but that isnt true. What you pay at the fare box isnt all you are paying. These trains and subways are subsided by governments so they can operate.

The bottom line to this discussion as noted by other posters is that the US is

A) Bigger than most other countries. From an infrastructure standpoint, it doesnt make it very cost effective. We see exceptions in densely populated areas such as Boston, NYC, Metro DC and Bay Area.

B) Have an excellent highway infrastructure

C) It is just cheaper to drive

From a pure economical position, you cant really argue that mass transit in the USA is really the best way to spend dollars, reduce pollution or reduce dependence on foreign oil.

Average weekday ridership on the New York Subway system
2007 operating budget $10.36 billion
Average weekday ridership 8,272,117

For comparison here is shanghai-
People using the Shanghai subway system daily - 2.500.000 - 3.000.000

For an average of over 8 million a day... that 100 year old system sure does a lot better at moving people compared to Shanghai, the ONLY city in the world that has deployed maglev commercially. After all, Shanghai has over 20M residents vs New York has less than half that, around 8.5M. While that doesnt count the surrounding area of either city, you get my point that New York does one heck of a job moving people around relative to even the most "advanced" transit systems (being maglev). Besides, maglev in China was deployed as a showcase of Chinese prosperity and growth, not so much economic practicality.


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