Japan has started testing the high-speed bullet train Alfa-X, which is capable of travelling at a speed of 400km/h.
The latest version of the Shinkansen train will undergo trial runs for three years between the cities of Aomori and Sendai at night.
East Japan Railway Company (JR East) plans to operate the train at 360km/h, replacing China’s Fuxing Hao train as the fastest bullet train in the world.
Designed to run at similar top speed as the Japanese ALFA-X, China’s Fuxing currently operates at 350km/h.
The Alfa-X will have a 22m-long aerodynamic nose and ten cars. The pointed nose of the bullet train will help the car to reduce wind resistance.
JR East was quoted by Bloomberg as saying: “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.”
The train will be equipped with air brakes on the roof and magnetic plates in addition to conventional brakes, as well as dampers and air suspension, to ensure stability.
It will also be connected with the control centre and maintenance facilities to ensure optimal performance.
Scheduled to enter services in 2030, the Alfa-X train will offer faster railway services to Sapporo in the island of Hokkaido.
Despite holding the record as the fastest bullet train, the vehicle may lose its recognition when it enters services to Japan Railway’s magnetic levitation (maglev) train services.
The maglev line, currently built between Tokyo and Nagoya, is scheduled to become operational in 2027 and is expected to see trains travelling at a speed of 505km/h.