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Japanese train travels at 374 mph

The maglev train beat its own record, set last week.

By Ed Adamczyk
Japanese train travels at 374 mph
The Central Japan Railways maglev train which set a new worlsd record (CC/ wikimedia.org/ Yosemite)

KOFU , Japan, April 21 (UPI) -- A Japanese train broke its own speed record Tuesday, traveling 603 kilometers per hour (374 mph) on a Yamanishi, Japan, test track.

The maglev train, which uses magnets to elevate itself off a track as it travels, spent 10.8 seconds traveling at over 600 kilometers per hour (372 mph), a Central Japan Railways spokesman said. It broke its prior world record of last week, when it traveled 590 kilometers per hour (366 mph).

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The train does not employ steel rails as tracks, but instead floats about four inches above guide paths through use of electromagnets, eliminating friction and reducing heat.

Central Japan Railways intends to begin service of the new train between Tokyo and Nagoya by 2027, after a $100 billion project to construct the path, mostly through tunnels, is completed.

About 200 witnesses gathered Tuesday to watch the world-record test. "It gave me chills. I really want to ride on the train. It's like I witnessed a new page in history," one told the Japanese broadcasting company NHK.

The current record speed for a maglev train in commercial use is 431 kilometers per hour (268 mph) by a train in China.

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