Wednesday, April 16, 2014

EMU L0 Series: 311MPH Next Generation Train

Magnetically-elevated train, EMU JR Central L0 series passes though full-bloomed peach grove
 
After the Sakura (cherry) season passed, the peach blooming season has come to the Tokyo metropolitan area. Currently, rich pink-colored flowers are seen here and there in the Kofu basin, some 130km west of Tokyo.

I visited a small hill in Fuefuki City, Yamanashi Prefecture with my family last weekend. It was a bright and clear day, so we could enjoy the full-blown peach blossoms backed by the snow-capped Japanese Southern Alps from the viewing point on the hill.

What we were looking for was not only the peach blossoms, but also a brand new train on the JR Central Yamanashi SCMAGLEV Test Line. SCMAGLEV is a magnetic levitation railway. The test track was recently upgraded to revenue service specifications and was extended from its original length of 18.4 to 42.8 kilometers. Commercial operation is planned to start in 2027. JR Central will operate the super express train at 500km/hour (311MPH) to connect Tokyo and Nagoya in 40 minutes.

In accordance with the extension of the test line, JR Central introduced the SCMAGLEV train, the EMU L0 series last year. The test run of the L0 is now underway. I saw a 7-car test train from the viewing point. It passed through an elevated track and entered into a tunnel in a moment. The L0 slashed across the beautiful pink colored carpet in the Kofu basin.

Spring is in full bloom in Japan.

Yamanashi SCMAGLEV Test Line
 
More information about Linear Express (in Japanese): http://linear.jr-central.co.jp/