Central Japan Railway Co. or JR Tokai, said Friday it had received a directive from Transport Minister Akihiro Ohata to proceed with construction of a maglev train line between Tokyo and Osaka.
JR Tokai said in a statement: "As the main sales and construction body, we will strive to carry out the Chuo Shinkansen project as soon as possible, with the cooperation of municipalities and others."
The project is estimated to cost a total of 9.03 trillion yen and will link Tokyo and Osaka in 67 minutes by train running up to 505 kph, compared with the bullet train’s current 145 minutes..
The railway operator will continue with its environmental assessment and start construction as early as 2014.
The firm hopes to open the maglev line between Tokyo and Nagoya in 2027 and extend the line to Osaka by 2045.