NAGOYA (Kyodo) -- JR Central on Monday invited media for a test ride of the revised Linear Chuo Shinkansen, its new maglev bullet train service that will link Tokyo and Osaka in record speeds once completed.
The new trains, which have been on test runs on the Yamanashi experimental track in central Japan since August, will be able to reach speeds of up to 500 kilometers per hour -- around twice that of current shinkansen services.
The interior of the cars employs a bright design based on a white motif, with widened seats and higher backrests to ensure spacious comfort for each passenger. The seats, which use a new style of cushion, are all outfitted with USB charging ports.
In order to reduce vibrations and noise reflected within the train, new materials used for the end cars differ from those used for the other cars. The updated cars now have space to place bags at the foot of each seat.
The revised shinkansen marks the fourth generation model to be designed since full-run test drives commenced on the Yamanashi line in 1997. Compared with previous L0 Series rolling stock, the noses of the end cars are more rounded, reducing air resistance by around 13 percent.
Its weight has also been reduced by utilizing a power supply which generates electricity from coils installed both on the ground and on board.
The maglev train project is viewed as a second high-speed link for the country's three key metropolises -- Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka.
"There are many tunnels along the planned line, so we made the inside of the train cars bright and improved comfort," said an official from Central Japan Railway Co.
Local governments and residents in the central prefecture of Shizuoka are opposing the maglev line construction work, forcing the operator to give up on its original plan to open the new line between Tokyo and Nagoya in 2027.