Japan Starts Test Runs of World's Fastest Bullet Train

News in Asia
Japan Starts Test Runs of World's Fastest Bullet Train

Today, Japanese rail operator JR East has started test runs of their newest shinkansen bullet train. The last version of the Japanese bullet train is expected to reach its top speed of at least 40 kmph more that the current results, up to 360 kmph.

The new ten-car experimental shinkansen train is called Alfa-X. The name is an acronym for "Advanced Labs for Frontline Activity in rail eXperimentation".  It has the bluish-silver body featuring green stripes. A 22-meter nose on the front car is by far the longest any shinkansen can boast. 

JR East, formally East Japan Railway, officially announced its plans to build a ten-car ALFA-X train on 4 July 2017 and yesterday the full 250-meter, 10-car version of the fastest train in the world was previewed for the media at a Miyagi Prefecture facility.

Currently, Japan uses E5 series shinkansen trains and France have similar TGV bullet trains both running at the maximum speed of 320 kmph. The Alfa-X will be able to operate at 360 kmph and it will be also tested at speeds of up to around 400 kmph. The tests will allow to evaluate the new technologies that will be used in new shinkansen trains.

The test runs will be held on the Tohoku shinkansen line between the cities of Sendai and Aomori in northeastern Japan. They are scheduled for night time twice a week. Till 2021, the guage will be tested in order to find out if it is able to accommodate trains cuising at 360 kmph. If the tests are successful, commercial operation will kick off the following year.

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