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A Different Outlook: Japan Unveils New Maglev Prototype

Japan has unveiled the prototype of a new Maglev train, capable of speeds up to 311 mph. In the meantime, over a week has passed since the latest floods, and British trains are still not running in the South West.

Maglev Train From JR Tokai

It is only a year since J.R. Tokai was given the go ahead to begin building work on its maglev railway, and already it has unveiled a prototype which will put the Bullet Train to shame.

The new L0 maglev train unveilled today

Unveiled today, the new train will travel at up to 311mph, which will cut the travel time for the 160 mile trip from Tokyo to Nagoya from the already speedy 90 minutes, to just 40. The train is designed to include to 16 carriages, holding 1000 passengers.

The new train will be transferred to Tokai's test line at Tsuru next year, once and extension to the test line is completed.

The train is expected to go into service by 2027, with an extension of the line to Osaka opening in 2045.

Also announced today was the new E6 series Bullet Train, which will be known as the Super Komachi. Built by the East Japan Railway Company, the E6 will service the Tokyo-Akita route, with a top speed of over 180mph.

Japan's Bullet Train

In the meantime, with millions of people staring at a future of unemployment or coffee serving, Britain's infrastructure continues to collapse with hospitals, power stations and roads falling into ever more serious states of disrepair or obsolescence.

As for our railways, they are increasingly incapable of coping with the whims of nature; the latest example being the Plymouth to Bristol line, still closed over a week after the recent floods.

While Japan joins China in the development of maglev, Britain runs at full speed towards an ever more pessimistic future. The irony is, that the mess we are in right now offers us the greatest opportunity for optimism that we have seen since the end of WWII.

A massive infrastructure building and refurbishment programme, financed by national credit, driving an industry base not seen for decades, could, if we have the guts to demand it, provide all the high quality, long term jobs we could wish for.


I like the positive spin you put on this story regarding our own infrastructure Mike (in particular our railways). It's so easy to be totally pessimistic but I agree with you about the mess we are in having the potential to be turned into a golden opportunity. One of my distant ancestors was involved in the conception of the original Stockton and Darlington railway, so this happens to be a subject close to my heart too.

Don't worry Mike we still have HS2!


Yes have to agree with all you said. The roads around my area are a disgrace and downright dangerous to travel along.The public transport is unreliable with constant cuts in bus services and timetables. Driving as become one big obsticle avoidance operation weaving around pot holes and sunken manhole covers. Investiment in public services and infrastructure is now desperatly required if we are to ever emerge from the tragic decline of the past 30 years.

Mike has come up with a sensible, yet simple and effective solution to the needs of the nation, it’s not rocket science and it’s easily achievable. This mode of transport infrastructure and many others, are very affordable with the issuing of “Treasury notes” that would be interest and debt free & warmly welcomed by the general public. Thus such idea’s would create much needed employment & financial security for many, which is sadly lacking at this time, due to the corrupt banking cartels and empire aspirations of the few. The opportunity for mass employment, financial stability and the eradication of the “fictitious” national debt, would be the greatest achievement this nation has seen in generations and I like many look forward to this much needed interdict by the people for the people.

 I worked on the British version in 1970s. The government sold all the rights for £250,000, they did the same with the advanced passenger train which we are now buying off the Italians

By now we should be linking all the Citys with high speed rail and maybe from underground.....

Another Idea for creating employment could be upgrading the country's phone lines to Fibre optic to every part of the Country, this would actually, with the Maglev rail, bring the country a lot of industry and employment.


Eric Laithwait, father of Maglev, a british electrical engineer was a man ahead of his time.  Like so many other great inventors he never had the support (financial and political) he deserved to take his concept into full production, politics yet again!  Nice article on the web that proves beyond any doubt that Eric had all the answers to make Maglev a real alternative to other 'slow' forms of travel.