A model of the new generation of bullet trains from Japan was presented publicly in a test in which it managed to reach the 382 kilometers per hour, slightly less than half the speed of a mid-size commercial airplane.
The ALFA-X began its tests last year and is not scheduled to start operating until 2030, But the responsible company offered the opportunity to experience these record speeds by transporting local journalists in the last hours.
The current top speed for Japan’s bullet trains, called shinkansen, is 320 km / h, with the E5 model, which entered service in March 2011 and is operating in Japan and France.
But the ALFA-X can reach record speeds on traditional rail lines of hasta 400 km / h, and in the test that was carried out near the last midnight it reached 382 km / h.
A running test of the next-generation Shinkansen test vehicle “ALFA-X” being developed by JR East for the extension of the Hokkaido Shinkansen to Sapporo was conducted on the Tohoku Shinkansen track for the first time on the night of the 27th, and it was the best. It was released that the speed was temporarily increased to 380 km / h.https://t.co/QFjWEa5R5C#nhk_videopic.twitter.com/l8l9y2F9du
— NHK News (@nhk_news) October 28, 2020
The firm behind this program is JR East, one of Japan’s railway companies, which plans to use the ALFA-X to cover the route. between Tokyo and the north of the country.
The test carried out with the journalists covered the route between the Sendai y Morioka, north of Tokyo, on the Tohoku Bullet Train Line operated by JR East.
Minimal vibration and noise
According to the local agency Jiji Press, when the ALFA-X reached 320 km / h the noise inside the wagons and the vibration were minimal, and increased slightly to 360 km / h, until at a certain point it reached the maximum speed of 382 km / h.
The ALFA-X, which does not turn around when it reaches its destination, stands out for its length of your nose longest, 22 meters, the one in front when the train travels north to better resist the impact of winds from North. The rear, which faces south, is 16 meters.
The ALFA-X, acronym that corresponds to the name “Advance Labs for Frontline Activity in Rail eXperimentation”, carried out its first test on May 10 of last year and has been carrying out others periodically since then.
The one in the last hours is the first that is carried out having journalists as guest passengers.
The fastest on traditional lines
This bullet train can reach up to 400 km / h without passengers. A medium-size aircraft like the Boeing 737 MAX can cruise up to about 800 km / h.
“After a year and a half of testing, the ALFA-X can now go with certain level of stability “, said in statements collected by Jiji Press one of those responsible for this project at JR East, Koji Asano.
The ALFA-X is not the fastest train, but it is on traditional railway lines.
Japan is developing another project, a magnetic levitation train (maglev) that will start its commercial service in 2027 and will be able to travel at around 500 km / h.