LIZZIE DEARDEN, The Independent
The first passengers have travelled at an incredible 311 mph on a hovering bullet train in Japan.
The maglev trains have been tested before between the cities of Uenohara and Fuefuki but now members of the public have been allowed on board for the first time.
The 27-mile trip went by in a flash for the 100 passengers as the train, which “floats” above tracks using magnetic levitation, hit speeds of 311 mph (500 kmh).
Footage of the high-speed ride showed a live display in each carriage keeping a constant record of the velocity as passengers watched the blur through aeroplane-sized windows.
The Central Japan Railway Company is running eight days of testing for the experimental maglev Shinkansen train on its test track in Yamanashi Prefecture, the BBC reported.
Maglev trains are even faster than Japan’s famous bullet trains, which currently travel at about 200 mph (320 kmh).
They will eventually consist of 16 carriages, carrying up to 1,000 passengers at a time and cutting the current travel time by more than half, from 90 to 40 minutes.
Japan’s reputation for high-speed rail started in 1964 with the unveiling of its first bullet train coinciding with the Summer Olympics.
Britain’s HS1 line connecting London with the Channel Tunnel through Kent allows speeds of up to 186 mph (300 kmh) in its fastest section and the planned HS2 could reach 225 mph (360 kmh).
This story appeared first in The Independent