Status of Development and Running Tests on Japan's Superconducting Maglev

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - reliability


Yamanashi Maglev Test Line, Wear resistance, Technological innovations, Superconducting magnets, Research, Reliability, Performance, Operational tests, Magnetic suspension, Magnetic levitation, Kyushu Shinkansen, Japan, Electromagnetic suspension, Durability, Demonstration projects, Advanced technology


In 2005 the Central Japan Railway Company introduced new technological breakthroughs that will enhance revenue service on its superconducting magnetic levitation (maglev) system. This paper covers developments in both basic and applied research, discusses new equipment, and reviews the status of the system’s running tests. Superconducting maglev has been developed to be applied to the Chuo Shinkansen, a proposed artery between Tokyo and Osaka. Its basic performance and various functions were already confirmed by 2000 through running tests done on the Yamanashi Maglev Test Line; running tests continue to be conducted to verify the train’s durability and reliability and to upgrade its performance with new technologies. One immediate goal of these tests is to finalize the technology necessary for revenue service by March 2005.