How fast can a train ‘fly?’ Over 600km per hour.

When I was in Japan for the second time a few years ago, I travelled via their bullet train. The journey was smooth most of the time and it was also considered very quiet. The future technology is going to be noiseless. Yes, Maglev (Magnetic levitation) trains. It’s totally silent because the train and the track do not touch one another. The maglev hovers 10 centimetres above the tracks and is propelled by electrically charged magnets. Scary? Well, this is no longer a new technology and just few days ago, Japan demonstrated a world record breaking feat with its maglev train technology. It went over 600km per hour. As a comparison, even F1 race cars on a straight road can only reach speeds of around 300km per hour.
Oh yeah, 600km per hour meant that the journey from Penang to KL would take just slightly over half an hour. How cool is that? Well, the first one to test this might be the High Speed Rail project between KL – Singapore, if the maglev technology from Japan wins the project when tender is called. Tokyo is now trying its best to sell this to the world via its Prime Minister’s business trips. Perhaps its major partner, the US may be the first to have such technology. Before I forget, according to the test run leader for the maglev, the higher the speed that the train runs, the more stable it is! Of course, this 600km per hour is only for testing. Typical speeds that the trains would run would be 500km per hour. Still an awesome speed by any standard.
What would this mean for the property market? Well, not much really unless Malaysians suddenly got fond of living in Penang and working in Kuala Lumpur and can pay huge fare everyday to take the train. The usual bullet train ride may cost a few hundred Ringgit between the Japanese cities. In other words, sudden attractiveness of properties along the route cannot suddenly happen. In fact, I think the cost of this technology is going to be huge because majority of all developed countries have not even started to use this on a major scale, not even Japan which still relies on bullet trains. It runs at speeds of 320km per hour operationally today. Happy reading.
written on 22 Apr 2015
next suggested article: China to Singapore through Malaysia with High Speed Rail. 12 hours?


  1. I believe choosing the Chinese HSR makes more sense as it would enable integration into the Chinese rail network. In addition, the cost of constructing and running Maglev is higher and there may be additional technical issues to consider.

    1. Hi Aaron, I actually agree with you.

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