May 3, 2018
Last month members of the twenty-second class of Mansfield Fellows visited the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen General Control Center, giving them a behind-the-scenes view of Japan’s busiest high-speed rail line. The General Control Center is responsible for maintaining the reliability and safety of the Tokaido Shinkansen, which connects the major metropolitan areas of Tokyo/Yokohama, Nagoya, and Osaka/Kyoto. Japan Railway Company (JR Central), which operates the line, has invited the Mansfield Fellows in Japan to tour the General Control Center for the past eleven years. During the April 24 tour, JR Central officials including Takahisa Suzaki (General Manager, International Department, Corporate Planning Division) answered the Mansfield Fellows’ questions and briefed them on the line’s operations. They also described the cutting-edge technology behind JR Central’s superconducting magnetic levitation (SCMAGLEV) system and plans to introduce the SCMAGLEV system in the U.S., with lines connecting Dallas to Houston and Washington, D.C. to New York.