Lucky Riders Whoosh Along At 500 Kph On Maglev Test Run For The Public

Lucky riders whoosh along at 500 kph on maglev test run for the publicOne hundred railway fans turned out Nov. 13 for the first round of test rides for the public on Central Japan Railway Co.’s maglev Shinkansen.

The eager passengers went through baggage checks and hurried to the L0-series experimental train at JR Tokai’s Yamanashi Maglev Test Track in Yamanashi Prefecture before being whisked along the 42.8-kilometer test route between the cities Uenohara and Fuefuki at speeds up to 500 kph.

A total of 2,400 people, selected by lottery, will experience the high-speed ride over eight days through Dec. 10. About 125 times more people had applied. Three test runs will be provided each day.

About 118,000 groups had applied for the chance to experience the test rides, according to JR Tokai. Applications were accepted until the end of September.

“I applied for my nephew who is a big railway fan, but now I am more excited than he is,” said a 37-year-old office worker from Kochi, who took the maglev train with his parents and two nephews, aged 10 and 1.

Maglev trains use magnetic levitation to hover above the tracks to reduce friction. They can go up to 200 kph faster than conventional bullet trains.

When completed in 2027, the maglev Chuo Shinkansen Line will link Tokyo’s Shinagawa Station with Nagoya in about 40 minutes.