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YouTuber left speechless after experiencing power of high-speed train that levitates above the track: 'I don't have words'

"It's my job to have words for a moment like this, and I don't."

"It's my job to have words for a moment like this, and I don't."

Photo Credit: YouTube

When the fastest train in the world comes rushing by you and disappears in a matter of seconds, there's a good chance the experience will leave you speechless.

That's what happened to Tom Scott, an educational YouTuber, when he traveled to Japan to witness firsthand the capabilities of a magnetic levitation wonder.

Traveling at about 310 miles per hour with a handful of sleek cars, the developmental train left Scott's mouth agape. At that speed, the vehicle covers one mile in 11.5 seconds.

"I don't have words," he said before tacking on a hilarious addendum. "It's my job to have words for a moment like this, and I don't."

For an encore, he got on the train to take a ride. The maglev operates out of the Yamanashi Maglev Test Center near Tokyo. The testing center and track work has been in operation since 1997 and now covers over 2.6 million miles. Sometimes, tests are open to the public, with a lottery to determine who gets seats. The plan is to connect the capital with Osaka, a trip that will take just one hour.

"We use the magnetic force between the superconducting magnet, the levitation coils, and the propulsion coils to achieve a smooth ride," said Yukio Takahashi, general manager of the test center.

At 93 miles per hour, the train retracts its wheels and shifts to maglev mode. It runs in a tunnel, known as a guideway, which has magnets on all sides to keep the train centered. There are safety features to stop it in case of a power failure or earthquake.

The train features a superconducting magnet along the undercarriage, and the guideway has coils to propel it and coils to levitate it. Because it moves by magnetic force rather than friction, the train can accelerate and decelerate faster than other trains and traverse steeper slopes.

At 186 miles per hour, Scott said he was still being noticeably pushed back in his seat, as airplane passengers are when a jet roars down the runway to take off. That rate is about how fast most high-speed trains around the world travel.

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"I've never experienced this much acceleration for this long, and we're still going," Scott said.

Without passengers, the train has reached 374 miles per hour, Takahashi said. It will travel at 310 miles per hour under normal circumstances.

The downside is that the train won't be operational for years. As Scott noted, its planned opening date of 2027 has been pushed back, and one local government is pushing to stop construction of the tunnel.

So it won't operate in Japan any time soon, let alone Europe or North America.

When it does, though, we'll all be speechless.

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