The Mihara test centre, which is being built at MHI's Wadaoki plant in Hiroshima prefecture, will open in the first half of 2014. It will have a 3.2km test loop capable of testing trains built to various international standards at speeds of up to 100km/h, as well as signalling and communications systems, and noise on curves.

The centre is designed to strengthen Japan's railway competitiveness, which MHI says is a pillar of the country's infrastructure export strategy, by helping to verify compliance with international standards and developing new products. It will also assist in improving maintenance systems. The centre will be available for use by other companies and organisations.

The new test track will complement the existing test tracks at Wadaoki for conventional rail, peoplemovers, and the HSST maglev system. MHI plans to add additional facilities in the future to enable comprehensive verification testing.