Central Japan Railway has begun work to build an underground terminal at Shinagawa Station in Tokyo for cutting-edge high-speed maglev trains.
The company, also known as JR Tokai, plans to put the magnetically levitated trains into service in 2027. The service would link Tokyo and the central Japanese city of Nagoya, about 290 kilometers away, in 40 minutes.
Railway officials held a groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday at the station. The terminal is to be built beneath the station of the Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train, about 40 meters underground.
The operator says the construction is expected to take about 10 years and will involve the challenge of digging underneath the existing station without halting bullet train service.
The firm plans to build 2 platforms with 4 tracks for the new station in an underground space about 60 meters wide and 450 meters long.
Last month, the company began building a tunnel in a mountain ridge running through Yamanashi, Shizuoka and Nagano prefectures.
Central Japan Railway President Koei Tsuge said the company will seriously tackle the project while paying attention to safety, possible environmental preservation and coordination with locals.
Construction of the Nagoya terminal is to start by the end of the 2015 business year in March.
The project requires an almost straight route between Tokyo and Nagoya to allow the train to run at about 500 kilometers per hour. 86 percent of the planned route is through tunnels.
Most of the route in urban areas is to be built 40 meters or deeper underground, and not require buying land above.
The project, including trains, is expected to cost 5 trillion 500 billion yen, or about 46.6 billion dollars.
Source and image: NHK