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Japan Has A Levitating Train – And It’s Ridiculously Fast

The future is NOW.

A new bullet train is being trialled in Japan, and it’s insanely fast. The maglev (electric powered) train is whisking 2400 lucky passengers (out of 30,000 applicants) from Tokyo to Nagoya in just 40 minutes this week. They’ll experience speeds of up to 500 km/hr, as they whiz through the 350-kilometre journey in half the time it currently takes now.

That’s over a third of the speed of sound and 180km/hr faster than the current Japanese bullet train network, known locally as Shinkansen. More amazingly, the train doesn’t actually run along tracks, it floats above them using magnets. Science or magic? Decide for yourself.

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The super fast train is being tested by the Central Japan Railway company on its Yamanashi Prefecture test track and it’s expected to be fully functional by the year 2027. There are also experimental trains in the works that travel at 580 km/hr.

This levitating train joins a long list of things Japan has contributed to the world, including the floppy disc, Playstation and Nintendo, general anaesthesia, Blu-ray disc and soluble instant coffee. What’s next? A butter grater?

(Lead image: Reuters/Yuya Shin)


Visit the future. Qantas flies to Tokyo Narita.