Japan plans faster bullet train

Two new nose designs are being considered (image courtesy of JR East/Kyodo)
Two new nose designs are being considered (image courtesy of JR East/Kyodo)

A Japanese rail company is planning to develop a new, faster version of the Shinkansen bullet train, the Japan Times reports.

East Japan Railway (JR East) revealed this week that it will introduce a test train in spring 2019, ahead of the roll-out of the new passenger model in about 2030. The company said it hopes to achieve a maximum operating speed of 360kph.

Currently, JR East’s E5 train is the fastest Shinkansen, operating at speeds of up to 320kph. But two different nose designs are being considered for the new train, with the aim of reducing wind resistance and increasing speed.

“We’ll complete the next Shinkansen model by around fiscal 2030,” JR East’ president, Tetsuro Tomita, was quoted saying during a press event for the extension of the Hokkaido Shinkansen Line.

The Hokkaido line first opened in March 2016 and currently runs between Aomori, in the far north of Honshu, and Hakodate in Hokkaido. The extended service will stretch from Hakodate to Hokkaido’s largest city, Sapporo. This will enable passengers to travel by high-speed train all the way between Sapporo and Tokyo.

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