From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
The Magnet Train (Japanese: リニアモーターカー Linear Motorcar) is found in Johto and Kanto during the Generation II and IV games. It is a maglev train that runs between Goldenrod City and Saffron City twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. It allows rapid travel between the two cities, moving at over 340 miles per hour.
Initially, the train is out of service because a Team Rocket Grunt has stolen the Machine Part from the Power Plant in Kanto. After defeating him in Cerulean City, players can retrieve the part from the Cerulean Gym and return it to the Power Plant. With the component back in place, the train has the necessary power to run.
To board the train, a potential rider must have a Pass. The Copycat of Saffron City has one (given to her as compensation for the fact that the station in Saffron is built where her house used to be), and is willing to give it up as a reward for returning her Lost Item, a Poké Doll that Red gave to her three years before, which is in the possession of a man at the Pokémon Fan Club in Vermilion City.
Of the three methods offered in the game to commute between Johto and Kanto, the Magnet Train is much faster and runs more often than the S.S. Aqua, which runs on a set schedule between Olivine City and Vermilion City.
In Generation II, the Magnet Train runs on the railway tracks along the ground. In Generation IV, the train and its station run along an elevated track, much like a monorail, though this track goes underground as it approaches Saffron City.
In the anime
In A Goldenrod Opportunity, Team Rocket rode a cart from Goldenrod to Saffron, to escape Ash, Misty, Brock, and Whitney after stealing her Clefairy. They then swapped Clefairy for Pikachu and proceeded down the track. Clefairy then used Metronome which turned into a Gust which carried Pikachu back to Ash. Pikachu then electrified the track, sending the maintenance cart Team Rocket was driving flying down the track. Team Rocket had earlier inquired as to riding the train, but were told that it was being built and would take a year to be completed.
In the manga
In the Pokémon Adventures manga
The Magnet Train appears in Yikes, It's Yanma! where it was used to transport the Gym Leaders of both the Kanto and Johto regions to the Indigo Plateau for the tournament held there, the event being its maiden voyage. The Magnet Train line was routed through the Indigo Plateau for the event. Sometime later, in The Last Battle III, Brock's Geodude and Red's Snor work together to stop the train when it became out-of-control and couldn't be stopped normally.
- The Magnet Train is most likely based on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen bullet train that runs from Tokyo to Osaka. Tokyo and Osaka are Saffron City and Goldenrod City's respective real-world counterparts.
- The Tōkaidō Shinkansen is powered by an electrical overhead catenary, while the Magnet Train is a maglev, propelled by a moving magnetic field.
- In HeartGold and SoulSilver, the Magnet Train's tracks are visible on Route 32, traveling overhead. However, the tracks are not visible on any route in Kanto.
- One of the programs on the Pokégear mentions rumors about a ghost Magnet Train.
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