A select group of passengers experienced Japan’s new ‘floating’ maglev train reaching 500km/h (311mp/h) in its first public test.
Specially-invited members of the public boarded the new ultra-high speed train for its first trial with passengers in Tsaru, Yamanashi Prefecture.
And the driverless train, which is due to run between Tokyo and Nagoya when it’s finished, topped out at over 500km/h – to the delight of the 100 passengers on board.
The Central Japan Railway Company is running eight days of testing for the experimental Shinkansen maglev train.
Maglev – short for magnetic levitation – rely on magnets rather than wheels, axles and bearings to carry vehicles and therefore require less maintenance and are less affected by the weather.
They are, however, more expensive to build, which has led opponents to accuse them of being white elephants.