The Japanese government has been showing off its maglev train system to former US politicians in the hope that it will encourage American companies to invest in this expensive technology and take it back home to the States.
The group of Americans, who were from The Northeast Maglev advisory board, were taken on a journey between the cities of Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka on the train that uses magnetic levitation to travel at a speed of 315mph. The company is aiming to build a US line that links Washington DC to New York, using a maglev train.
The New York Times reports that the current three hour journey between these two cities would be reduced to just one hour with the new high-speed train.
The Japanese plan to begin construction of the maglev line from Tokyo next year and hope to have reached Nagoya by 2027 and then Osaka by 2045. The Prime Minister for the country, Shinzo Abe, has championed the planned new line by saying “it truly is a dream technology” during a speech at the New York stock exchange last September.
Shinzo Abe has faced criticism over the spiralling costs of the project, which have so far estimated to have reached $112 billion. But if the US can be convinced to buy this magnetic levitating train, it could well be worth it. In order to win over President Obama, The New York Times reported that Abe offered to provide the maglev guideway and propulsion system for the first 40 miles of the Washington to New York route free of charge.
But with The Northeast Maglev Group having only raised $50 million in private capital, this could well be a non-starter.
[Image via The NorthEast Maglev]