Trains will operate at up to 600km/h on the 550km line, offering a
journey time of just 67 minutes. JR Central has reportedly withdrawn
its request for government funding for the Yen 9 trillion ($US 110bn)
project and will now finance the line through its own resources. The
total cost of the project is around six times JR Central's annual

Since it received permission to enter the final planning phase last
December, JR Central has carried out environmental assessments along
the section of the route through the Southern Alps north of Mount Fuji.

Construction is already underway on a 23.8km extension of the test
track in Yamanashi Prefecture, taking the total length of the line to
42.2km. As part of the extension project, JR Central has ordered a
pre-production fleet of 14 L0 Series Maglev vehicles, which will be
capable of 500km/h and are due to be delivered between 2012 and 2015.

The test track will become part of the initial 290km section of the
line between Tokyo and Nagoya, which will be completed in 2027. The
remainder of the line to Osaka is expected to open by 2045.