Opened in 2011, the SCMAGLEV and Railway Park is the railway museum of Central Japan Railways (JR Central). The museum seeks to educate visitors on the advances in high speed rail in Japan and displays a number of actual trains including historic steam locomotives, world record setting experimental shinkansen (bullet train) and the latest magnetic levitating trains (maglev).
A collection of 39 retired train cars are displayed in the museum. Many of these can be entered or viewed from underneath, and are accompanied by a host of exhibits explaining the different parts of the trains and all aspects of their operation and maintenance. Another section of the museum is dedicated to maglev trains and JR Central's plans to construct a maglev high speed link between Tokyo and Osaka. The second floor of the museum also has lots of learning experiences, which are specifically geared toward young children.
Some of the most popular attractions are the train simulators, which include driving simulators for conventional and shinkansen trains, and a train crew simulator where you can experience the duties of a train conductor in charge of opening and closing the doors. The simulators cost an additional fee (either 100 or 500 yen) and reservations must be made in advance at the museum information desk. Reservations are determined by a lottery system which takes place four times per day. Entries must be submitted at least 45 minutes in advance.
The museum also houses one of Japan's largest train dioramas, with miniature trains running through incredibly detailed recreations of Osaka, Nagoya and Tokyo. Another collection displays historical artifacts from the early days of Japanese railways. An excellent English audio guide is available for rent which provides detailed explanations of all of the museum exhibits.
From Nagoya Station, take the Aonami Line to its terminal station, Kinjofuto Station. The one way ride takes about 25 minutes, costs 360 yen and is not covered by the Japan Rail Pass. Trains depart approximately every 15 minutes. SCMAGLEV and Railway Park is just a few steps from Kinjofuto Station. It is also located close to Legoland.