Japan's magnetically levitated (maglev) train broke the world speed record for a manned train on Friday when it clocked 280.3 mph on an experimental track west of Tokyo, a Japanese railway firm said on Friday.
With 16 staff and researchers aboard, the sleek, three-carriage MLX-01 train, which floats on U-shaped tracks using super-conducting magnets, overtook the world record of 279.7 mph established in June 1993 by Germany's Trans-Rapid train, said a spokesman for Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai).The MLX-01 also broke the Japanese record for manned trains set when an experimental Shinkansen "Bullet" train reached 275 mph in June 1996.
The MLX-01, running on an 11.4-mile experimental track in Yamanashi, west of Tokyo, will challenge the world record for any maglev train by next March.
The current record is 321.3 mph clocked by an earlier unmanned Japanese maglev model on a now unused, shorter experimental track in Miyazaki, southern Japan, in 1979.
Railway companies envisage building a new line for maglev trains that would halve the time it takes for a train to travel the 373 miles between Tokyo and Japan's second city of Osaka to about one hour.