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Japan maglev builder needs to dig deep -- in more ways than one

Buying out urban landowners could prove as tricky as tunneling under mountains

Digging a 25km tunnel under a mountain range in central Japan is just one of the hurdles JR Central must clear to build its Tokyo-Nagoya maglev line.

NAGOYA -- With 10 years to go until it is supposed to open for service, a Japanese railway project decades in the making is readying to cut its way deep under a daunting mountain range, but the tunnel is hardly the only obstacle in the way of this high-profile effort.

Acquiring land to build stations along the magnetic-levitation train line from here to Tokyo will also test Central Japan Railway's ability to complete it on time, potentially adding to the estimated 5.5 trillion yen ($50.4 billion) construction costs.

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