The experimental passenger train has the potential to bring urban centers within minutes of each other

On Nov. 13, Japanese rail enthusiasts barreled between the cities of Uenohara and Fuefuki at breakneck speeds. Part of a series of planned tests for riders and engineers alike, the next-generation locomotive journey demonstrated technology that could revolutionize cross-regional — and very possibly cross-country — transit methods.

Already famed for its existing bullet train system, the Central Japan Railway Co. recently unveiled an experimental Shinkansen passenger train with a top speed of over 300 mph (500 km/h), the Asahi Shimbun reported. One hundred people — the first of 2,400 test riders (chosen by lottery from the 118,000 who applied) — boarded the L0-series experimental train at JR Tokai’s Yamanashi Maglev Test Track on Nov. 13 to travel the 42.8 km route to Uenohara in mere minutes.

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