Japan has started testing its new generation bullet train Alfa-X, capable of reaching a top speed of 400 kilometres per hour. This version of the Shinkansen train, a network of the high-speed railway lines in Japan, began three years of test runs on Friday.
Alfa-X is expected to start operations around 2030 and will run at speeds of up to 360 kph, thus earning the title of the world's fastest bullet train. This bullet train will be even faster than Fuxing train in China, which runs 10 kph slower than Alfa-X.
The bullet train will be tested between the cities of Sendai and Aomori, which are nearly 280 kilometres apart from each other. Test runs will take place after midnight and will occur twice a week.
Alfa-X train is packed with the latest technological features like - vibration sensors, temperature sensors - and its distinct 72 ft long aerodynamic nose is dramatically elongated to minimise noise and pressure when passing through tunnels. ALFA-X also features sensors to reduce the impact of possible earthquake tremors. The train's 10 electric cars are manufactured by Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Hitachi.
According to rail officials, ALFA-X will also be tested with a 52 ft nose as well as the prototype's 72 feet nose, in a bid to determine which will offer the fastest and least noisy journey to the passengers on the board.
ALFA-X will be a successor of Shinkansen N700S, which began its tests around a year ago. Shinkansen N700S is expected to start operations in 2020 and has a maximum speed of around 300 kph.
However, no matter what speeds ALFA-X achieves during its test runs, it won't be able to smash the record of Japan Railway's magnetic levitation (maglev) train which touched the speed of 603 kph on an experimental track in 2015.
(Edited by Vivek Dubey)