320-kph Hayabusa Bullet Train Matches World Speed Record

Hayabusa bullet trains began running Saturday at a new top speed of 320 kph on the Tohoku Shinkansen Line, equalling France’s TGV as the world’s fastest train in operation.

Meanwhile, a new red E6 series bullet train debuted on the Akita Shinkansen Line the same day and part of local train lines in Miyagi Prefecture resumed operation for the first time in two years, providing a sliver of good news for the disaster-hit Tohoku region.

The E5 series Hayabusa, which links Tokyo with Aomori Prefecture on the northern tip of Honshu, now reaches speeds of 320 kph between Utsunomiya and Morioka — the capitals of Tochigi and Iwate prefectures.

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310mph ‘Floating’ Maglev Trains Unveiled in Japan

The first of a new generation of high-speed, magnetic levitation trains has been unveiled in Japan, designed to operate at speeds of more than 310mph.

The front car of the Series L0 maglev measures nearly 92 feet long – of which 49 feet forms an aerodynamic nose section – and is fitted with 24 seats. A full 16-carriage train will be able to carry 1,000 passengers.

Designed by Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai), the state-of-the-art trains are scheduled to go into use in 2027 and link Shinagawa Station, in central Tokyo, with Nagoya.

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PM Noda and PM Singh talk on bringing Japan’s bullet train tech to India

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India and Japanese premier Yoshihiko Noda met on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in Cambodia on Tuesday, reaching an agreement to discuss the potential of bringing Japan’s shinkansen (“bullet train”) technologies to the populated South Asian country. Specific conditions have yet to be set, but India has been looking into a high-speed railway project for the future.

Japan’s experience and developments with bullet trains would specifically be applied to a 680 kilometer (422 mile) route that would connect the Indian cities of Pune, Mumbai, and Ahmedabad, running through several highly populated areas. This would be the central focus of India’s plans, which include six different high-speed train routes across a total of 4,100 kilometers (2,548 miles). The expectation of the Indian government is that equipment be manufactured locally, a strategy that would cut costs, attract investments, and provide new job opportunities.

A representative from Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism commented that the sideline meeting between the two countries’ leaders may have given the country a leg up over bidders for the project. Japan’s bullet train technologies and rail cars have only been exported to Taiwan, but earlier this year Hitachi landed a deal to bring $7 billion worth of high-speed trains to the U.K. In addition, several Asian countries like Vietnam and Thailand, as well as Brazil in South America, are looking into high-speed train advancements in order to serve their growing economies and populations.

China claims its rail tech superior to Japan’s

A spokesman for the Chinese Railways Ministry says the nation’s high-speed rail technologies are far superior to those used by Japan’s bullet trains.

The remarks Thursday by Wang Yongping in an interview with the Xinhua news agency came after Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. threatened to take action if China files for patents on high-speed trains that use Japanese technology in violation of contracts signed between Japan and China.

The technologies for which patent applications have reportedly been filed in at least five countries and regions are used in China’s high-speed rail link between Beijing and Shanghai, which was inaugurated on June 30.

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