Japan begins testing its 248 mph next-gen bullet train

Japan's next-generation bullet train, the Alfa-X, has been put to the test. The train, which will be built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Hitachi, is capable of reaching a maximum speed of 400 km / h (248 mph), but is expected to transport passengers at 360 km / h (224 mph) when it opens. the public in 2030. Before that happens, DesignBoom notes that the train has to go through years of testing, making night trips between the cities of Aomori and Sendai.

To cope with high speeds, Alfa-X has a 72-foot-long aerodynamic nose, which is designed to minimize the pressure and reduce the amount of noise created by the train, especially when passing through tunnels. DesignBoom reports that a 52-foot-long nose should also be tested. The train is equipped with air brakes mounted on the roof and magnetic plates on the bottom to brake.

The Alfa-X is the fastest bullet train in the world when it launches in 2030, but it will not be the fastest train in general. That title now belongs to the maglev train of Shanghai, which uses magnets to float on the rails. It is capable of a maximum speed of 431 km / h (268 mph). Bloomberg notes that Japan should also open its own maglev train route between Tokyo and Nagoya in 2027, which could go as fast as 505 km / h (314 mph).

Before the launch of the new train in 2030, Japan also plans to launch a new "Supreme" version of its existing Shinkansen bullet train in time for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The new train will travel at the same speed of 186 mph as bullet trains existing in the country, but will be lighter, more efficient in the use of energy and should be more comfortable with more legroom and sockets for passengers.

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