The seven-car train completed a test run on Thursday on an experimental course in central Japan’s Yamanashi prefecture. The train beat the previous record of 581Kph (361Mph), which has been held since 2003.
However, it’s uncertain for how long the new record will stand. A spokesman from the company, known as JR Central, told the Wall Street Journal that another test ride scheduled for Tuesday could see the magnetic levitation bullet train hit speeds of 600Kph (373Mph).
The magnetic levitation bullet train was carrying 29 technicians during the test run, but passengers who travel on the line when it opens in 2027 won’t experience quite the same speeds. When it officially opens for business, the train is expected to operate at a maximum speed of 505Kph. The Japanese government gave the construction of the train line the go ahead in October 2014. Once completed, it will connect Tokyo and Nagoya in around 40 minutes; less than half the time it takes current shinkansen bullet trains. By comparison, the UK’s proposed “high speed” HS2 train line will travel at a maximum of 362Kph, and there are ongoing calls to make the controversial train travel even slower.
Maglev trains use a magnetic charge to lift and move the train cars above a guideway. JR Central has been looking to export the speedy technology to the US for a new line that would connect New York to Washington, DC. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said that his country will help to fund the project.