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This magnetic train could get you from New York to Miami in under 4 hours

AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye
Faster than a speeding bullet…
  • Jake Flanagin
By Jake Flanagin


Published This article is more than 2 years old.

A Japanese magnetic levitation or “maglev” train has broken its own world record for speed—surpassing 590 km/hour on Apr. 21 at a speed of 603 km/hour (374 mph).

Central Japan Railway plans to introduce maglev service between Tokyo and Nagoya by 2027, reducing the hour-and-a-half-long journey to a 40 minute commute. For comparison, Quartz calculated the reduction of travel time that maglev technology would bring to Amtrak, the United States’ publicly funded railroad service. Assuming a speed of 374 mph and express service (no stops), this is how long it would take to travel major North American train routes:

Montreal → New York (Adirondack Service)

Distance: 381 miles
Travel time on maglev: 1 hour

Boston → Washington (Acela Express)

Distance: 457 miles
Travel time on maglev: 1 hour, 13 minutes

Washington → Chicago (Capitol Limited)

Distance: 764 miles
Travel time on maglev: 2 hours, 24 minutes

Chicago → San Francisco (California Zephyr)

Distance: 2,438 miles
Travel time on maglev: 6 hours, 30 minutes

Seattle → Los Angeles (Coast Starlight)

Distance: 1,377 miles
Travel time on maglev: 3 hours, 41 minutes

Detroit → Chicago (Michigan Services)

Distance: 513 miles
Travel time on maglev: 1 hour, 22 minutes

New Orleans → Los Angeles (Sunset Limited)

Distance: 1,995 miles
Travel time on maglev: hours, 20 minutes

New York → Miami (Silver Service/Palmetto)

Distance: 1,389 miles
Travel time on maglev: 3 hours, 43 minutes

As part of its Next Generation high-speed rail program, Amtrak plans to cut travel time on the Acela Express between Boston and Washington to three hours. But don’t get your hopes up quite yet, Northeasterners—it’s only tentatively planned to begin operating by 2040.

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