Next - Generation Bullet Train Rolled Out To Media

Next-generation bullet train rolled out to media

Japan's next-generation Shinkansen bullet train was rolled out to the media in a demonstration test run on Thursday.

East Japan Railway Company aims to put the train into service in the fiscal year starting in April 2030. The Hokkaido Shinkansen line will then be extended to Sapporo on the northern island of Hokkaido. The company plans to operate the train at a maximum speed of 360 kilometers per hour.

Testing of the ALFA-X, the trial version of the next-generation bullet train, started in northeastern Japan on Friday. The media were invited to view the train pulling into Morioka station from Sendai early on Thursday. The train consisted of 10 cars.

The train has a distinctive, streamlined front section giving it the appearance of a long nose. There are two designs, one measuring 16 meters, and the other measuring 22 meters.

The company says it tested the train at its highest speed so far on Thursday--320 kilometers per hour. Tests were run on the acceleration and braking systems, as well as on ride comfort.

The company will continue running tests between Sendai and Shin-Aomori over the next three years. The tests will examine how well the design can reduce wind resistance and curb noise levels when entering tunnels.

Kazunori Koyama of JR East says the company is working to meet passenger demand for shorter travel time and greater safety in the event of an earthquake.

The company is using its experience from the 2011 earthquake that devastated northeastern Japan in this effort.