Faster than This Speeding Train, Superman?
On December 2, 2003, a magnetically levitated train developed by the Central
Japan Railway Company set a world speed record of 581 km/h (361 mi/h). The train
is planned to run a normal 500 km route between Tokyo and Osaka in one hour. Liquid-helium-cooled
superconducting electromagnets are sequentially repelled and attracted by conductive
coils in the track's sidewalls for propulsion. To minimize friction, the entire
train is magnetically levitated above and between the rails. For comparison, the
famed American P-40 Warhawk and British Spitfire of WWII had about the same top
speed in level flight.