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Mr. Pataki and other former American politicians were in Japan Saturday for a special test ride of the [world’s fastest] train, which uses a technology called magnetic levitation, or maglev. They are trying to bring a maglev train to the crowded Northeast Corridor that will cruise between New York and Washington at more than twice the 150-mile-an-hour top speed of Amtrak’s Acela, the fastest train in the United States.

Maglev trains could make the journey in an hour, compared with just under three hours, on a good day, for Acela. That would be considerably faster than flying, especially when getting to and from the airport is factored in.

Photo Credit: A maglev test train in Japan. Yosemite Yosemite / Wikimedia Commons