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Maglev train in Japan breaks world record at 590 kilometers per hour

The seven-car maglev train ran at the world’s highest speed for 19 seconds, breaking a world record set in 2003.

By Elizabeth Shim
Maglev train in Japan breaks world record at 590 kilometers per hour
Passengers on Japan’s train system are not expected to experience the lightening speed at which a test train traveled on Thursday, even when maglev trains will be placed in operation in 2027. Photo by Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

TOKYO, April 17 (UPI) -- A Japanese train line that uses magnetic charge to lift and move train cars broke a previous speed record on Thursday.

The magnetic levitation bullet train, or maglev operated by Central Japan Railway Co., reached 590 kilometers per hour. Its speed surpassed a previous record of 581 kilometers per hour set in December 2003 by the same firm, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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Kyodo News reported the seven-car maglev train ran at the world's highest speed for 19 seconds, using new LO-series cars on a track between Uenohara and Fuefuki in Yamanashi Prefecture west of Tokyo.

The new record, however, may be beaten next week Tuesday, when another test ride may see the train run as fast as 600 kilometers per hour.

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Passengers on Japan's train system, however, are not likely to experience the lightening test speeds even after 2027 when the maglev train lines are slated to open to the public.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to promote Japan's train technology during his visit to the United States, which will begin April 26.

Abe is scheduled to stop in California, a state with strong ties to the Asia-Pacific region that is planning a high-speed rail line modeled after similar lines in Japan and Europe.

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On Tuesday U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington is working overtime ahead of Abe's visit.

South Korean newspaper Hankyoreh reported Blinken said he is looking forward to reaching an agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership with Japanese officials, and on revisions to the U.S.-Japan defense cooperation guidelines.

Japan has been delaying negotiations on the TPP.

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