Japan and China Compete to Dominate the High-Speed Rail Market in the Upcoming Years

  • Analysis
  • 17-December-2020

China and Japan are competing to construct a new kind of levitating, ultra-fast train, trying to demonstrate their supremacy over a technology with expert potential. Maglev, or magnetic levitation, refers to the usage of powerful magnets by trains to roll along charged tracks at extremely fast speeds, which is made possible due to the lack of friction. Some experimental and short distance maglev trains have already been in operation, but China and Japan, known to be Asia’s two biggest economies, are racing to develop the most anticipated world’s first long-distance intercity rail lines.

Japan’s Central Japan Railway Co. has spent almost 86 billion dollars on the maglev that would connect Osaka and Tokyo by 2037. On the other hand, China’s Central Railways has decided to invest approximately 15 billion dollars on its on-again, off-again project of maglev connecting the eastern port city called Ningbo and Shanghai. After numerous false starts, it is now expected to be completed by 2035. Japan’s maglev project is comparatively more expensive than that of China as a larger excavation process is required to lay tracks along the mountainous countryside.

According to the rail experts, China and Japan can get an extra advantage in exporting the next-generation technology, in case they successfully unveil their maglev projects within the due dates. In addition to that, more than 2 trillion dollar global market shares are at stake for rail infrastructure projects. The successful completion of these projects would definitely boost up the growth of the Global High-Speed Rail Market.

Maglev technology carries immense export potential, and Japan and China’s projects are the starting point, which would further lead to the successful implementation of the technology abroad. Japan, the proud creator of shinkansen, or the world’s first bullet train, has been a top supplier of global high-speed rail projects since long. Infrastructure exports, such as fast-rail technologies have always been a primary factor in their remarkable economic growth. But China has been a great competitor, especially since the last decade, owing to its cheaper supply parts.

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