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JR Tokai chief: Maglev line on track for 2027

Jiji Press NAGOYA (Jiji Press) — Koei Tsuge, president of Central Japan Railway Co., or JR Tokai, has voiced his resolve to open the company’s magnetic levitation ultrahigh-speed train line linking Tokyo and Nagoya in 2027 as scheduled.

“We’ll keep placing top priority on carrying out construction work for the maglev line to put it into service in 2027,” he said in an interview, stressing that suspected bid-rigging among major general contractors related to the project will not affect the schedule. The alleged misconduct is now under investigation by public prosecutors.

“This year, JR Tokai will put full-fledged maglev construction work on track,” Tsuge said.

“We’ll vigorously promote work in areas that will take time,” including a tunnel to be constructed deep under the Minami Alps mountain range, and Nagoya and Tokyo stations, the two terminals of the line, he said.

JR Tokai will also accelerate the acquisition of land needed for the train line project, he added.

The fastest maglev train is expected to travel between Nagoya Station in Aichi Prefecture and Shinagawa Station in Tokyo in only 40 minutes. The maglev line is slated to be extended to Osaka after the completion of the Shinagawa-Nagoya section.

As to the suspected bid-rigging, Tsuge said JR Tokai is not considering a full-fledged review of its current method for making contracts while noting that the company may revise some points in the current format if needed.

“I don’t think at all that a possible review in the contract method will affect the construction period” for the maglev project, Tsuge said.

On a recent incident in which a crack was found on the undercarriage of a car of an N700 series Shinkansen bullet train owned by West Japan Railway Co., or JR West, Tsuge said, “It’s true that this has raised doubts about the safety reputation of Japan’s Shinkansen.”

“We have to take this incident seriously,” he added.Speech

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