How much will a linear-motored bullet train fare be?

(This article was originally posted in Japanese at 11:20 May. 11, 2010.)

Technology is important. But benefit we take from this linear motor train planned by Japan Railway is even more important. JR Central is planning to build a new linear motor track between Tokyo and Osaka, connecting these two big cities in only 67 minutes. It's far faster and greener, so, how much pricier will it be?

Read on for detail.

(JP)Superconducting Linear Bullet Train Project

2010 is the 46th anniversary for Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train and JR Central's official report(link above) says it needs some fundamental upgradings on aging facilities.

They are planning a major maintenance on existing Shinkansen from 2019, including replacement of all steel bridges(about 1500 of them) and addition of 70km tunnel in total. The budget is over ten billion dollars.

But these major maintenance consequently needs some bypass route not to interrupt their daily service. It's also needed for backup against heavy earthquakes estimated in decades ahead. Linear motor Shinkansen will be a perfect solution for the demand.

Of course they are working on earthquake countermeasures. They have spent over 120 billion Yen(about $1.2 billion) for this.

A huge economic effect is expected with this linear Shinkansen. Now it takes 145 minutes from Osaka to Tokyo. This means major metropolitan area, Osaka, Nagoya and Tokyo, are separated from each other. Linear Shinkansen runs from Osaka to Tokyo in only 67 minutes. This will make three separate areas to integration.

By transferring faster train to this linear motor bypass, the timetable will get higher safety margin. This also means more semi-superexpress train, benefitting passengers using the in-between stations that current superexpress doesn't stop.

To maximize the power of linear motor, it needs straighter route and fewer stations.

So they have been insisting on the so called "Southern Alps route" which go through mountainous area south of Nagano prefecture.

Estimation under current data says that linear Shinkansen will starts running in 2027 for Tokyo-Nagoya line and 2045 for Nagoya-Osaka line.

Tokyo-Nagoya linear Shinkansen will increase JR Tokai's income by 10% while Tokyo-Osaka line increase it by 15%. The estimated price will be 11,480 Yen for Tokyo-Nagoya and 15,060 Yen for Tokyo-Osaka. It's approximately $7-10 higher than existing Shinkansen.

It's interesting that linear Shinkansen can half the time you take while suppressing increase in price.

The income increase will be 272 billion Yen when Tokyo-Osaka route begins service.

The construction of linear Shinkansen will begin in 2014.

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in Note, Posted by darkhorse_log