World’s Fastest Train-Ride Lottery Meets Massive DemandChris Cooper and Kiyotaka Matsuda
Central Japan Railway Co., which is building a magnetic levitation rail line, was overwhelmed by applications for a ride aboard the world’s fastest train on a test track ahead of the official line opening in 2027.
A total of about 150,000 applications were received for 1,200 pairs of seats to ride the train in November and December, the first time the extended 43-kilometer (27-mile) track will be open to the public, according to Daisuke Fujita, a spokesman at Central Japan Railway Co.
JR Central, which operates the world’s busiest bullet train line, is set to start building a maglev link between Tokyo and Nagoya by the end of March, with speeds of up to 500 kilometers per hour. The company is spending 5.1 trillion yen ($48 billion) to link Tokyo and Nagoya by maglev, boosted by record earnings and a higher operating profit margin than Apple Inc.
The maglev will more than halve travel time between Tokyo and Nagoya, Japan’s third-largest city, to 40 minutes for the 286-kilometer journey when it opens in 2027. The line, which uses magnetic power to propel trains that float above the ground, will enable travel at almost double the 270 kph of current bullet trains between the two cities.
JR Central is conducting test runs for winners of the lottery on four days next month, starting from Nov. 11, and on four days in December. There are 50 pairs of tickets, costing 4,320 yen ($41), for each of the three daily runs, according to the company.
The bullet train operator opened its extended test line, to the west of Tokyo, last year after more than doubling the length. The test track will become part of the completed route.
The Nagoya-based railway operator, which won’t rely on government funds, will use cash flow and borrowings to help finance the project. The company had an operating margin of 29.9 percent in the fiscal year ended March 31, compared with 28.7 percent for Apple in its most recently reported business year.