Alfa-X, world’s fastest bullet train projected to hit speeds of up to 249mph


Japan recently announced that it has started testing is fastest ever shinkansen bullet train. Alfa-X (stands for Advanced Labs for Frontline Activity in rail eXperimentation) is expected to go into service by 2030.

The next-generation Shinkansen is capable of reaching the speed up to 400 kilometers (249 miles) per hour. Rail company JR East plans to operate it at 360 kilometers per hour, once it enters operation. This would comfortably make it the world’ fastest bullet train by outplacing China’s Fuxing Hao which runs 10 kph slower, links Beijing and Shanghai and has the same top speed.

The next-generation Shinkansen

These trains will utilize IoT, big data, AI and other technologies to advance new concepts in development. Packed with the new technology, Alfa-X has a super long nose stretching 72 feet for minimizing the pressure and noise when passing through tunnels.

Alfa-X will have air brakes on the roof and also use magnetic plates near the rails to slow down, in addition to conventional brakes. In addition, the train will also have dampers and air suspension to keep it stable when traversing curves. This will maintain its balance and comfort for passengers.

Alfa-X inside
Alfa-X inside

In addition, the train has high tech vibration sensors, temperature sensors, and much more. Some more features include specialist equipment to reduce the impact of possible earthquake tremors. It is based on JR’s E5 platform, which already operates on major routes in Japan.

Alfa-X testing

The train has a light green line running along its silver body which is tested on the line between the cities of Sendai and Shin-Aomori, which are about 280 kilometers apart on the Tohoku line in northern Japan. It began three years’ worth of test runs on Friday, the CNN reported.

The test was all focused on the technical aspects of speed and safety throughout its 10 electric cars, which were manufactured by Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Hitachi.

We want to improve not only speed but also safety and comfort,” Ichiro Ogawa, the head of JR East’s research and development center, told the Mainichi newspaper, as the prototype was unveiled to media.

Pushing the world-renowned high-speed rail service even faster towards the future, the ALFA-X marks a new stage of growth for the Shinkansen.

The development of the next-generation shinkansen is based on the key concepts of superior performance, a high level of comfort, a superior operating environment, and innovative maintenance,” East Japan Railway Co., better known as JR East, said in a statement.

Whatever the speeds the train achieves during its test runs, it won’t match the record-breaking pace of Japan Railway’s magnetic levitation, or maglev, the train which hit 603 kph (374 mph) on an experimental track in 2015.

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