For years we've heard tell of Japan's maglev train. We've been told how fast it will be and we've seen pictures of what it looks like. But in all that time, the train has never performed a full-speed test — until now.
Just yesterday Japan's L0 maglev train took to the track for the first time. Traversing the full length of its 26.6-mile test track in nine minutes, the L0 hit its 311 mph top speed after just under three miles.
With acceleration like that, you'd think that those aboard the train would have felt something of a crushing sensation. Japanese reporters, invited along for the ride, painted a different picture. Those who were aboard repoted she ride was smooth and comfortable and that they felt no fear of getting out of their seats to move about the train, even while travelling at top speed.
The same cannot quite be said for those who stood along the length of the test track to get a glimpse of the train as it hurtled by. After the L0 blew past them, onlookers reported experiencing a shockwave and then a deafening roar. As the speed of sound is actually 340 mph at sea level, this roar couldn't have been a sonic boom.
The noise certainly doesn't take place in the video of the test, below. Take a gander at this feat of engineering for yourself and tell us whether you think the boom is simply the imaginings of excited reporters or if the video was cut just at the moment that it would have taken place.