SCMaglev at a test track in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan, in November 2005

Japan offers a 500 billion yen (4.79 billion dollars) loan to the U.S to be used for a high-speed magnetic levitation train system, built between Washington D.C and Baltimore.

This busy stretch of 60 kilometers (37 miles) track is today traveled by commuters using regular trains at modest speeds, making the trip in an hour.

With the hovering maglev train, the speed would increase to around 500 km/h (311 mph) and the journey time would be shortened to only 15 minutes.


The Japanese maglev train was developed by the company JR Tokai and they are currently testing the SCMaglev train running on a 43 km (27 miles) track in Yamanashi. The current speed record for trains is held by this very train, an impressive 581 km/h (361 mph).

The train uses rubber wheels at speeds below 150 km / h (95 mph), but above this speed, the train will start to hover due to electromagnetic fields that lifts the train 100 mm (3,9 inches) above the track.

There are current plans to build tracks for the JR Tokai train to travel between Tokyo and Nagoya for onward connection to Osaka.

U.S Tran Network

There is an ongoing discussion in the U.S regarding an upgrade of the whole network system. And JR Tokai is also marketed as an alternative solution how the train network is to be upgraded on the U.S. east coast.

The U.S east coast railway section constitutes a total distance of 730 km (454 miles) connecting Washington DC, Baltimore, New York, and Boston.

The now proposed first stage between Washington D.C and Baltimore is estimated to cost about 7 billion dollars and the Japanese government would stand ready to lend half of that amount.

The Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has himself marketed the technology during talks with U.S President Barack Obama when he visited the U.S. last year.