The new test train will have an end car and an intermediate coach, which will be coupled to existing L0 intermediate coaches to make five or seven car consists for the tests. JR Central plans to start testing the new train on the Yamanashi maglev test line in May.

The 500km/h production trains will have up to 12 cars with a total length of 300m. The 28m-long end cars will seat 24 passengers and the 24.29m-long intermediate coaches 68. The aluminium-alloy vehicles will be 2.9m wide.

JR Central plans to spend Yen 3bn ($US 27.5m) this year on further testing, developing a maintenance system compatible with commercial operation, improving and commercialising superconducting linear technology, and trying to reduce construction, operation and maintenance cost.

The Chuo Shinkansen superconducting maglev line is scheduled to open between Tokyo Shinagawa and Nagoya by 2027.