Japan Today

Media get first look at construction of maglev line station at Shinagawa


The maglev station currently being built at Shinagawa Station in Tokyo was opened to the media for the first time Friday since work began last year.

Central Japan Railway Co (JR Tokai) showed media the construction site which is 40 meters below Shinagawa Station. The new station will serve as the starting point for its ultra-high speed magnetic levitation (maglev) line that will run between Tokyo and Nagoya.

Work is carried out after the last train service each night and before the day’s first service begins.

The maglev (magnetically levitated train) can reach a top speed of over 500 km/hour. It is expected to be operational by 2027, JR Tokai officials said. The total construction cost is estimated at 5.5 trillion yen, JR Tokai said.

However, opponents have voiced concern about the environmental impact that the construction and long-term operation of the maglev rail would have. Transport ministry officials have urged JR Tokai to make effective use of waste soil and keep local residents in the loop about construction plans.

Environment Ministry experts say that building the 286-kilometer route will require massive excavation work for tunnels and that JR Tokai has yet to present a plan on what it will do with the displaced soil, and what impact the excavation will have on groundwater running down from the mountains.

There will be four stations on the route between Shinagawa and Nagoya. The Shinagawa and Nagoya stations will be about 40 meters underground. The first station after Shinagawa will be Sagamihara in Kanagawa Prefecture (also underground). The next three stops will be above ground in Kofu, Yamanashi Prefecture, Iida, Nagano Prefecture and in Nakatsugawa, Gifu Prefecture.

The travel time will be just 40 minutes, an hour faster than the current time. Nearly 90% of the journey will be underground or through tunnels.

JR Tokai has been conducting test runs on a 42.8-kilometer track in Yamanashi Prefecture.

The maglev train, which is driverless, has five cars, is 2.9 meters wide and 3.1 meters high.

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If they don’t know whats going to happen with the water runoff from the mountains, and the government hasnt yet been submitted any plans or research done on that by JR...well then why are they already digging tunnels?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I don't think that any one knows what going to happen with rain water running of the mountain as this project has never been undertaken before, this is cutting edge Technology and nobody can predict it.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Brian Wheway

City developers and engineers work extensively on urban planning to make sure things like mountain water runoff do not flood tunnels and overflow existing sewage systems etc.

It’s not cutting edge technology to do that. The maglev trains have also been in use in Europe and China for a long time.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Headline could read "Media gets first look at Abe's useless money-hole that will certainly go over-budget"

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Abe's buddies get a massive payout .

0 ( +3 / -3 )

ummm, tohoku's reconstruction first? anyone?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I wonder who will use this train on a regular basis and how much a ticket will cost. 40 minutes it's quite impressive, one could live in Nagoya and work in Tokyo. Still... i find the Shinkansen already quite expensive, can't imagine how much a ticket will cost on this.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

In comparison, for 5.5 trillion Japanese yen, you could buy 493 Airbus a320 aircraft, about 25 times the number of planes Peach currently owns.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Strange, in earthquake prone Japan JR is constructing an “ underground” railway. I would presume this will become a nightmare in its distant future however I’m not an engineer.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Sure it’s a boondoggle, similar to the Tama monorail that is a complete money pit. Still, I look forward to riding it one day.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Every time Japan show off new trains running, oil rich countries invite Japan create Japanese style railroads.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

By having Trains going so fast, what is this trying to prove? Why not do everything on the Computer and no one has to leave the Office! These fast trains do not make any sense!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Definitely can’t wait to ride this! However the train only having 5 cars, I assume it’ll be quite pricey. However 40 minutes basically turns Nagoya into a Tokyo suburb so the economic benefits are massive

0 ( +0 / -0 )

By having Trains going so fast, what is this trying to prove? Why not do everything on the Computer and no one has to leave the Office! These fast trains do not make any sense!

By that logic, the shinkansen makes no sense. Yet it's used by tens of thousands of people every day. There are a lot more people using it than just business men. And not everything can be done by computer, sometimes you need in-person meetings. Try spending a whole day conferencing with people over Skype (or similar) - the amount that can be done in that same day, meeting in person, is exponentially more.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Very cool hope I'm still around when this thing starts running so I can ride it. Funny to see some people talking down the world's best railway operator...bar none... JR

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"The total construction cost is estimated at 5.5 trillion yen, JR Tokai said. The travel time will be just 40 minutes, an hour faster than the current time."  My math is not great, but I think that equates to a cost of $8.3 billion a minute in "saved time."

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@never2late: Um yeah, I agree your math is not looking too good. How on earth did you get to that result?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This line will cost less than the UK's HS2 line between Birmingham and London, despite most of it being in a tunnel. It will also be faster and more convenient.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If business people in Tokyo and Nagoya held their meetings an hour later, the nation would save trillions of yen.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

dcog9065 My calculator couldn't handle all them zeros! How about $833 million per minute "saved?" That's at Y110 yen to $1.00. If you have another figure let me know.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What you guys don’t get is that this construction is a global statement that Japan is still in the lead pack of countries holding ultra refined technologies that will matter in the 2050s. By then, the current Shinkansen line will turned into slower, local train service and this Maglev line will be the wonder of transport that other countries will admire and respect

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They should rather try to buil a HyperLoop instead... this could be less expensive and even quicker :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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