When I first saw the map of the proposed maglev route (going through mountains as it does) I assumed that most of the route would be through tunnels. Your comment and picture caused me to wonder how much of the above ground route would also be covered by a hood. I examined the marked route back both ways, and I see that large sections of the surface track are exposed.
The question in my mind is "why?" I can think of two reasons why a track might be covered: 1) to protect it from the elements, especially to keep it clear of snow, and 2) to even out the discomfort for passengers like me whose ears hate going through tunnels (and take offs and landings). But I can't understand why some sections should be left exposed.
(The last placemark is not in Street View, but the new construction in high resolution imagery is interesting, I think.)
Very interesting. I think you're onto something with the pressure changes. That would add discomfort to the passengers, and additional stress to the window/door seals.
My guesses for why there are areas that are not covered would be perhaps for airflow, or maintenance access, or perhaps for safety for easy exit, or maybe just to give passengers a nice view on occasion.
I know that I was quite enamored with the Japanese country side, and always appreciated the occasional views when the shinkansen would emerge from the tunnels.
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