A colleague of mine has alerted me to the the momentum, quite literally, of the super high-speed magnetically levitated (maglev) train in Japan. In test runs to date, the maglev train has reached speeds of over 500 km/hour.
In fact, we can expect to see a push on this file from the Japanese government in early December. Earlier this year, Central Japan Railway announced plans to set up a service between Tokyo and Osaka before 2025.
To put this all into perspective, in the early 1960s, rail service between Tokyo and Osaka was 8 hours duration. The Shinkansen service then brought that time down to 4 hours, and more recently, just over 2 hours. But the maglev line would shave off another full hour, whisking passengers between the two mega-cities in a mere sixty minutes.
In an article on the subject from this past summer, the Asahi Shimbun puts the cost of the project at 8 to 10 trillion yen — a staggering sum of money that would make this the world’s most expensive infrastructure project.
Interestingly, it would give airlines serving that corridor a run for their money.