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The Japanese Maglev and Other Fastest Trains

Updated on October 9, 2015

Maglev train photo


In today’s world, speed means everything. We want to have a computer with the highest processing speed, the speediest internet connection, the most effective and efficient method of production etc. This is because time is money. Transport can never be an exemption. We desire to reach our destinations within the shortest time possible. That is why we usually go for the best racing cars which come with features that allow us to hit the road at the highest speed and still guarantee us safety.

Electric trains have been one of the modern innovations which has allowed for efficient transport of people and goods from one place to another. The world’s first electric train was designed in 1879 by Werner Von Siemens of Germany in Berlin. It travelled at a maximum speed of 13 Kilometers per hour and played a big role in the transportation of thousands in the city of Berlin.

Japan is the world’s leader in the field of transport technology; they have some of the world’s leading brands in the transport sector. Their Toyota and Nissan brands are all over the world. In transportation, Japan uses the least energy per person in the world for transport purposes. Japan was also the first country in the world to create railway lines for high speed travel. This innovativeness may have come as a result of the necessity factor considering that Japan is a mountainous country and consists of several islands which needs to be interconnected. Cities in Japan are highly interconnected with rail systems.

Maglev Train

Maglev is a short form of the words Magnetic levitation. It is currently the fastest train in the world. It can travel at a speed of 374 miles per hour. The seven car magnetic levitation train completed a successful journey in the Mountainous area of Fuji region. The Magleb’s railway has powerful electromagnetic forces which pull the train forward. These powerful magnetic forces propel the train forward at a height of a few inches from the ground meaning that the train actually floats over the rail. These high speed Maglev trains in Japan are in trial phase and they will soon be rolled out for public transport purposes.

Maglev technology was initially applied in China, Shanghai area. They operate at a speed of 430 kilometers per hour.

Maglev train station Shangai,China


Shanghai’s Maglev

It functions like the Japanese Maglev train. It is currently the world’s fastest trains being used for public transport purposes, with a commercial speed of 431 Kilometers per hour. It was constructed when Siemens and Thyssenkrupp companies collaborated. The train operates between Pudong International Airport and outskirts of central Pudong.

The Chinese Harmony CRH2


Harmony CRH380A

It is a high speed electric train developed by China South Locomotive and Rolling Stock Corporation Limited. It operates at a maximum speed of 380 kilometers per hour.

Eurostar 320-branded Siemens Velaro


Siemens Velaro

They were developed by Siemens, a German company. There are different categories of Velaro train. Velaro E, Velaro CRH3, Velaro e320, Velaro Rus among others. They operate at speeds of between 250 -400 kilometers per hour.

A map showing Seikan tunnel


Haneda Airport International Terminal Station


Other Japanese Greatest Inftrastructures

Seikan Tunnel

Seikan tunnel is one the world’s existing proof that man can create something out of nothing. Seikan railway tunnel is the world’s longest undersea tunnel, 53.85 kilometers. It has been operational since 1988. The tunnel is suspended at a depth of 240 meters below the sea level. It connects the island of Honshu and the island of Hokaiddo. The stretch has a double railway track. Trains can move through the tunnel at a speed of 145 kilometers per hour. It was constructed as a way of eliminating ferry transport services through which many people lost their lives.

Haneda Airport

When it comes to air travel, Japan is among the world’s best countries in the sector. It has 176 airports. The second busiest airport in Asia continent, Haneda is in Japan. It offers a non-stop air transport services to 25 cities in 17 countries in Asia.


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    • Michaela Osiecki profile image


      2 years ago from USA

      I would have thought Narita was busier that Haneda, but I guess being closer to Tokyo and smaller than Narita could have some effect on that. But Narita Airport has the fastest train from the airport to downtown Tokyo.

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 

      3 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      Florida is also in the process of trying to get a high speed train system. I really don't know if it will be highly used by passengers.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      Brad Masters 

      3 years ago from Orange County California BSIT BSL JD

      Great article on high speed trains, and it is a shame the US can't, or won't commit to a high speed train. The proposed high speed train in California is a joke, and a bad one at that.

      China has a number of high speed rails, and it may be challenging Japan. But, the US is out of this race, although it could benefit from having one, or more.


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