Last week, the Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) unveiled a new prototype that is capable of delivering the fastest train service to Japan. The Series Lo prototype is powered by magnetic levitation (maglev), where the train will float above the tracks thanks to the power of magnets.
The new train will run from Tokyo to Nagoya and will reach speeds of 500kmph, or 311mph. The sad thing is, maglev-powered transportation has been around for over 100 years, with the first relevant patent issued all the way back in 1905.
There are currently two commercial systems in service today, the first of which began operation in Shanghai in 2004, which was followed by a Japanese system dubbed Linimo in 2005. Linimo is capable of just 60mph, just 20% of the speed of the proposed new maglev-powered train from JR Tokai.