The prototype is planned to get into service as of 2027 en route Tokyo – Nagoya, followed by extension to Osaka in 2045 as part of JR Chuo Shinkansen railway. At this point, the route is served by Shinkansen high-speed trains, running at lower speeds of 270 km/h.
Unlike old models of high-speed trains, L0 Series prototype trains use magnetic levitation (Maglev), which eliminates friction and allows much higher speeds.
The new train is equipped with a locomotive designed to reduce air friction and featuring a stretched “nose” aimed at reducing noise level when traveling through tunnels. The train will comprise a total of 14 cars, each of them carrying 68 passengers, except the last car, which can support only 24 passengers.
Because train’s top speed is 500 kilometers per hour, passengers will travel from Tokyo (Shinagawa Station) to Nagoya in just 40 minutes, and a trip to Osaka will last one hour and seven minutes.
Video: World’s Fastest Train: Japanese JR Tokai Maglev L0 Series -581 km/h
Currently, trains need twice as much time – 2 hours and 25 minutes – to cover the distance between Tokyo and Osaka (515.4 km).
Series L0 will run through tunnels about 60% of the total distance. The tunnels will be drilled at 40 meters underground in urban areas.
Update June 6, 2013: L0 Series displayed on Yamanashi rail
JR Tokai operates the most reliable high-speed trains in the world. The 44-year-records of commercial operation show no injury or fatal accidents. The company operates daily 323 high speed trains in central Japan and the mean delay is just 0.6 minutes. Source: Asahi Shimbun
Video: Train Series L0 uncovered in Japan