The shinkansen, or bullet train as it is commonly known, is one of the unique characteristics of Japan when it comes to traveling across the country in comfort and speed. There has been tests to deliver faster and faster trains, and the Central Japan Railway Co (JR Tokai) successfully conducted the maiden public test of its new ultra-high speed magnetic levitation (maglev) train over in Tsuru, Yamanashi Prefecture, managing to hit a top speed of 500kph during its journey across the 42.8-kilometer test track.
Maglev trains are different from regular trains, as it will make use of a high-tech propulsion system that is known as the “L-Zero” system. First of all, the train itself will build up speed to that of 160 km/hour, and upon hitting that figure, it will kick start the maglev system before it accelerates slowly to 500 km/hour.
Right now, the fastest shinkansen in Japan happens to be the Hayabusa, where it is capable of zipping around at a hair raising 320kph. It is like sitting in an extremely long Ferrari while going around at top speed. JR Tokai intends to offer official test-rides to the broader public later this coming November.