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Japan's Maglev Train Breaks World Speed Record, Again

The seven car Maglev — short for magnetic levitation — beat the 366 mph record it set last week.
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/ Source: NBC News

TOKYO — A state-of-the-art Japanese train broke its own world speed record when it topped out at 374 miles per hour early Tuesday in a test run near Mount Fuji.

Central Japan Railway confirmed that the seven car Maglev — short for magnetic levitation — had beaten the 366 mph record it set last week. The previous record of 268 mph had been held since 2003.

The company said the purpose of the record-breaking run was to test the safety of the trains, which hover around four inches above the tracks and are propelled by electrically-charged magnets.

“Both the car and the track is designed for commercial use and I believe both the level of comfort and safety has improved,” the director at the testing facility Yasukazu Endo told reporters after the test run.

However, he said future passengers won’t necessarily get a chance to travel as fast as the Maglev did on Monday. The company has said trains with passengers on board are expected to travel at around 313 mph.

The company plans to have a Maglev running between Tokyo and the central city Nagoya by 2027. The train is expected to complete the journey in just 40 minutes, less than half the time taken by the shinkansen bullet trains currently in service.

— Arata Yamamoto and Henry Austin