According to multiple Japanese media reports, East Japan Railway Company (“JR East”) is repeatedly conducting trial operation of the new test vehicle “ALFA-X” in order to develop a new generation of Shinkansen.
On the evening of the 27th, the vehicle asked the media to experience its trial operation for the first time. It is reported that its maximum speed has reached 380 kilometers. In previous experiments, the top speed of “ALFA-X” reached 400 kilometers per hour.
The report pointed out that the feature of “ALFA-X” is to reduce air resistance. The front part of the front of the car is longer than the previous Shinkansen. The vehicle is equipped with a new suspension and brake system that suppresses vibration.
The electronic display board at a speed of 382 kilometers per hour (picture from Kyodo News)
According to the report, during the trial, there was no big vibration in the car, and the plastic bottle on the table would not move left and right. JR East’s goal is to operate the Shinkansen at a maximum speed of 360 kilometers per hour. The Kaido Shinkansen is scheduled to be extended to Sapporo in the spring of 2031. JR East plans to introduce new vehicles before then to shorten the time from Tokyo to Sapporo.
Koji Asano, director of the JR East Advanced Railway System Development Center, who was interviewed, said, “The new vehicles have been tested for about a year and a half and can achieve stable driving to a certain extent. In the future, we will provide more comfort for passengers. Continue to promote research and development in terms of the environment for driving in the car and the reduction of vehicle noise.”
According to JR East, the test vehicle is composed of 10 cars and has a total manufacturing cost of 10 billion yen. It will be completed in 2019. In order to analyze the difference in wind pressure when entering the tunnel, each car is different. The first car in the front “nose” is about 16 meters long, and the 10 car is about 22 meters long. The size and number of windows in the middle compartment are also different.