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Kawasaki Heavy to develop high-speed train


Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd said Thursday it will start development of a new high-speed train that can travel up to 350 kilometers per hour. Kawasaki Heavy is the first Japanese manufacturer to develop a high-speed train for the global market, the company said.

The company expects to complete the development of the efSET train by March 2010.

The new train is designed to meet potential demand at a time when some 10,000 kilometers of high-speed track are expected to be built across the globe over the next 20 years.

The company will use technologies acquired through experience in designing Shinkansen bullet trains to improve comfort and reduce the effects on the environment in an effort to compete with major European manufacturers.


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I wonder if they might get into magnetic levitation train system like the Germans have that can hit 550 kilometers per hour (350 mph).

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Nippon Sharyo, a competitor of Kawasaki Heavy, is involved with a magnetic levitation train, in cooperation with JR Tokai. A line between Tokyo and Nagoya is planned to be operational by 2025. The Germans have a system too, but unfortunately, it crashed two years ago, killing 23.

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The cost of Maglev is just too high, especially in a world where we are trying to reduce our demands for energy. The world's only commercially operating maglev train is in Shanghai in China. Conventional wheeled trains are far more cost effective. The French have tested a modified TGV on wheels at over 500 Kmh. Japan and Europe already have wheeled trains on regular services at over 300 Kmh. Before widespread use of maglev would be viable, we'd need a limitless source of cheap energy. This is economic reality rather than science fiction.

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Japan is actually a world leader in maglev trains. But like many have already mentioned, it is simply not economically viable at the moment. The only reason why Shanghai even has it is because China wants to prove they can have one (kinda like how they wanted to show the world how they can host the best Olympics ever wasting over 40 billion). Fortunately, the rest of the world operates on economic principles and actually make sense and further development on maglev is underway before implementation. In 2003 Central Japan Railway Co achieved 581 km/hr (361 mph) with the maglev. So really, they don't really have to "get into maglev like the Germans," they were one of the pioneering countries along with the Germans. Technology is there, it just costs too much.

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Maglev is a waste of money, the Shinkansen is proven technology which exceeds speeds of 400km/h. For most Asian countries one would have to brake and slow down before hitting the max speed i.e Shanghai Maglev Train.

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