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The construction of the Yamanashi Maglev Test Line which began in 1990 is now at its final stage, and various tests and adjustments have been actively performed to prepare for the running test which is due to commence in the spring of 1997.
The superconducting magnetic levitation (maglev) system is an epoch-making railway transportation system which is, technologically, completely different from conventional railways.
In order to realize a car running at the maximum super-high speed of 550 km/h, the car body structure is made of 70-mm thick aluminum (Al) honeycomb, while the truck frame is constructed of light-weight Al shapes. For the superconducting magnets, Al honeycomb moldings are applied to the vacuum vessel in order to increase rigidity and the resistance to vibrations. Consequently, high performance such as 8 W or less calorific value, with the weight 1400 kg, is achieved.
For the ground coil, epoxy resin moldings which can withstand 22-kV high voltage are used for propulsion coils while sheet molding compound (SMC) with high strength and mass production capability is used for the levitation and guidance coils. These coils are separated into units using unique solid spacers developed by Hitachi to be assembled in the panels which are mounted on the guideway.