Japan’s Maglev Train Sets World Record
If you need to be somewhere in a real hurry, Japan's record-setting Maglev train is just the ticket.
A Japan Railway maglev train hit 603 kilometers per hour (374 miles per hour) on an experimental track in Yamanashi Tuesday, setting a decisive new world record.
A spokesperson said the train spent 10.8 seconds traveling above 600 kilometers per hour, during which it covered 1.8 kilometers (1.1 miles).
That's nearly 20 football fields in the time it took you to read the last two sentences.
The train broke its own record from last Thursday, when it ran at 590 kilometers per hour (366 miles per hour) on a test track.
That beat the old record of 581 kilometers per hour (361 miles per hour), which was set in 2003 during another Japanese maglev test.
By contrast, the fastest train in the United States, Amtrak's Acela Express, is only capable of 241 kilometers per hour (150 miles per hour), though it usually plods along at half that speed.
Unlike traditional trains, maglev trains work by using magnets to push the train away from the tracks and drive the train forward.
Japan's maglevs don't use metal tracks — instead, they float nearly 10 cm (4 inches) above special guideways, allowing for frictionless movement.