A Japan Railway maglev train hit 603 kilometers per hour (374 miles per hour) on an experimental track in Yamanashi Tuesday, becoming the world’s fastest. The train spent 10.8 seconds traveling above 600 kilometers per hour, during which it covered 1.8 kilometers (1.1 miles).
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.
Right now, China operates the world's fastest commercial maglev, which has hit 431 kilometers per hour (268 miles per hour) on a route through Shanghai.
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.
Central Japan Railway (JR Central), which owns the trains, wants to introduce the service between Tokyo and the central city of Nagoya by 2027. The 280km journey would take only about 40 minutes, less than half the current time.
However, passengers will not get to experience the maglev's record-breaking speeds because the company said its trains will operate at a maximum of 505km/h. In comparison, the fastest operating speed of a Japanese shinkansen, or "bullet train" is is 320km/h.
Construction costs are estimated at nearly $100bn (£67bn) just for the stretch to Nagoya, with more than 80% of the route expected to go through costly tunnels, AFP news agency reports.
By 2045, maglev trains are expected to link Tokyo and Osaka in just one hour, slashing the journey time in half.
Source: CNN, BBC