Japanese maglev train goes 311 mph


But its only a 42km track. I wonder what the cost of a 500km track would be?

1 Like

“You call THAT a steamin’ and a rollin’? You know nothing, Casey Jones!”


Wow. Even the shikansen, which isn’t nearly that fast, makes me feel woozy looking out the window. I can’t even imagine what this one would be like.


So could you bring on a hard drive or would it get damaged?

1 Like

I would be so damn happy if they built one of these between DC and Boston.


That’s actually one of the few places it would make sense to build railroads here in the US.

Japan has geography and topography unique suited to rail lines. Most of their major cities and population centers are on their eastern coast in a more-or-less straight line through a continuous coastal plain without mountains or other major terrain impediments.

Contrast with the US, or the UK, where cities are spread out all over the place, often on opposite sides of mountain ranges, often in all directions from one another, making for a much more complicated rail system attempting to service them all.

Getting from New York to Los Angeles by train is kind of a pain in the rear. In contrast, getting from Nagasaki to Sapporo is pretty straightforward, and most of the trip is via shinkansen.


Meanwhile, here in California we’ve been struggling to build America’s first high speed since 1996 and the current estimated completion date is around 2029 (barring further delays). When completed, the train will top out at a speed around 100mph slower than this maglev. Sometimes it’s hard to believe we used to lead the world in this kind of thing.


Railways? Internet? Healthcare?
Whaddaya think, we’re made of money?

  • A corporation.

Yes. [duck]


I rode a mag lev train in Shanghai. It was kind of a cool experience.

The general consensus was that it was not a good use of money. It was nearly empty when we were on it. Seemed like it was built more as a spectacle than a viable mode of transportation. I think maybe most the average person in Shanghai can’t afford to ride it, and the affluent will take a private car.

We need cheaper maglevs.


automobiles illegal when?

A pittance relative to the Interstate highway system. Or an aircraft carrier.

Actually the Japanese Shinkansen run through hundreds of miles of tunnels, because even the Japanese coastal areas are fairly mountainous between population centers. Much more mountainous that the US east coast (not even comparable, actually).

A high speed train between two points is a spectacle. You’re right.

A fully developed system of high speed trains, coupled with fully developed systems of heavy and light rail, would transform our economy.

It would be expensive, yes. We would have to invest tons of money in developing new technologies, in paying people to build infrastructure, in paying people to operate high-tech equipment, in creating a 21st century manufacturing system. I know, I know, what a crazy fantasy world. The United States has never done things like that.


About ÂĄ9 trillion, or roughly $80 billion. Expected to be complete in 2045.


First high speed since 1996? Acela is high speed? Washington-NYC by Acela is barely 20 minutes faster than regular service, and the average speed is something like 110 km/h.

Right now I don’t think Maglev makes much sense, as it’s so expensive that it’s only used in short stretches and is basically a novelty (as in Shanghai). Shinkansen/TGV-style fast trains make much more sense for long distances, and if LA-SF train service exceeds 200 mph that will be pretty impressive.

1 Like

No, I mean the first high speed rail in the United States. The California High Speed Rail project has been underway in some form or another since 1996.


To be fair, NYC and LA are like 2500 miles apart. Japan also has the advantage of being comparatively small. Japan doesn’t have more than a thousand square miles of scabby, rocky desert.

1 Like

Japan is roughly the size of California, but intra-state transit in California is a joke compared to Japan. There’s no reason that we couldn’t have had a high-speed rail connection linking Los Angeles to San Francisco (or even Los Angeles to San Diego) decades ago.


I’ve heard the complaints of Europeans who’s trains were sidelined to let trains full of cattle pass in the US Midwest. I don’t know a single person in Colorado who hasn’t waited for a slow train full of coal to go lumbering by. With our focus on certain types of commodities over human transport, I have a hard time believing we ever were ahead in “this kind of thing”.

Edit to add: The quote attribution got all bent. fixed now