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Only a handful of nations are currently testing Maglev rail technology

Japan plans on having its first magnetic levitation (Maglev) rail system in service by 2025.  The trains have a top commercial speed of 310 m.p.h., and use electric-powered magnets to float above tracks.  More specifically, floating above the tracks helps greatly reduce the amount of friction between the train and track, helping make the trains go faster.

The Maglevs will replace Japan's Shinkansen "bullet" trains, which have reached their technological and transportation capacity limits.  The first Japanese Maglev line will travel between Tokyo and Nagoya.

Central Japan Railway (JR Tokai) plans on operating the first Japanese Maglev service, according to Masayuki Matsumoto, JR Tokai President.  The company has been testing Maglev cars on a track in Yamanashi for more than 10 years.

Even though a French train holds the world speed record on rails -- 357.2 m.p.h. -- the Maglev holds the current overall record -- a maximum speed of 361 m.p.h.

The only fully operational Maglev line is operating on almost 20 miles of rails in Shanghai.  Japan and Germany are currently the nations that have taken great strides to improve Maglev technology.  Unfortunately, a German test Maglev train crashed last September, killing 23 people.

As someone who has ridden the Japanese Shinkansen trains before, I am sad to see the famed bullet train forced into retirement -- but am extremely excited to some day ride the first generation of Maglev trains.

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By Triring on 4/28/2007 8:46:16 PM , Rating: 1
The shinkansen lines are completely separate from other tracks although they often use the same right-of-way. In the Northeast corridor you will have the Acela, the Metroliners, regional rail, and freight running on the same rails and often at the same time. Again, the problem is not the quality of the rails, it's the congestion. The Acela, which can operate at well over 80 MPH often pokes along at less than 40 waiting for signals to change and other trains to free up the blocks.

Have you ever heard of a "Diagram"?
It is a method to develop a planned timetable drawn out to see which train is where at what speed. So you are able to place whatever train slower than the faster advancing train into a switchback so that the faster train can pass by.
Any rail organizer draw out these thing so to ensure full potential of trains.

As for super conductor maglev trains developed by Japan, you don't need to magnatize the entire route all the time. It uses Electromagnetic induction like the recent WiFi IDs where a coils within a strong magnetic field creates a repeling magnetic field. So a power line is need only for the train. The present experimental system in Yamanashi is already at the end stage where they connect three or four carts so yes a cart system will be introduced.

By noirsoft on 5/1/2007 1:25:43 PM , Rating: 2
Don't complain to him, complain to the people running the trains in the US. What he said about the train congestion is true. And, no amount of planning can help if a freight train is running late and there isn't a few miles of spare track at the right spot to route it to.

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