Kyoto-Nara Maglev Battle Underway for Future Route

By the middle of the century, if all goes according to plan, a maglev shinkansen will be in operation between Tokyo and Osaka, reducing a 100-minute trip to just over an hour.As with the current bullet train lines, stations will be built in cities along the way.

But where the train will stop between Nagoya and Osaka has become the subject of a growing struggle between the cities of Kyoto and Nara, both of which see a maglev station as a critical way to boost tourism revenue, not to mention a matter of prestige.

Officially, Nara has the upper hand. Plans to route the new maglev line through the city date as far back as 1973, when the government officially declared it would build a station “in the vicinity.”

Read the rest of the story: Economy, prestige at stake in Kyoto-Nara maglev battle.

Magnetically Levitated Train Line Route Approved – Tokyo to Osaka

A government panel approved a plan Wednesday to build a magnetically levitated train line over the shortest proposed Tokyo-Osaka route.

The panel at the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry gave the green light to a midterm report that states Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) is responsible for constructing and operating the route on a virtual straight line through the Southern Alps.

Because it has a more favorable cost-benefit ratio, the panel favors that route over other proposals that would divert the line north of the mountain range.

The travel time between Tokyo and Osaka under the plan is expected to be 67 minutes at the shortest.

The railway, known as JR Tokai, said it plans to start construction in fiscal 2014, complete the line between Tokyo and Nagoya in 2027 and finish the full line reaching Osaka in 2045.

Read the rest of the story: Most direct line for maglev gets panel OK.