Technology

JAPAN TESTS THE NEW ALFA X: SHINKANSEN OR THE BULLET TRAIN GETS EVEN FASTER

Japan's new bullet train being tested

Japan, one of the most progressive countries in the world will add another feather to its cap by making an attempt to test the fastest train in the world. This thing is most of a regular thing for them as they are the ones who introduced the concept of the bullet train to the world and haven’t stopped ever since. The train is known as alpha-x whose full name is  “Advanced Labs for Frontline Activity in rail eXperimentation” – , the  test will run on this Friday between the cities of Aomori and Sendai at night, while the tests are due to take place twice a week until 2022, which means tests are going to last for 3 years.

The Alpha-X train is believed to be of achieving speeds up to 400 kilometers (249 miles) per hour, the first aim to achieve a speed of 360 kph (224 mph), and beat China’s Fuxing Hao, which has the same top speed capabilities as the ALFA-X. Irrespective of the speed of the train during its test run, it won’t be able to match the record-breaking pace of Japan’s maglev. The maglev trai hit 603 kmph (374 mph) on an experimental track in 2015, which is currently the fastest train in the world. It covers a 19-mile distance in just seven minutes and 20 seconds.

Cockpit of the ALFA X train
[The Japan News: Cockpit of the ALFA X train]
The high-speed train is believed to probably enter service in 2030. The rail company JR East operates it. The train has been engineered efficiently and precisely with Japanese technology and it has 3 types of breaks. It also has a sleek nose, which is 72 feet (22 meters), which is designed to cope with massive wind resistance. The train has 10 cars for passengers painted in metallic silver and green stripes. This is another addition to Shinkansen, that are Japan’s gleaming symbol of technological development; they are fast and efficient means of transportation and the Japanese people will be aiming to make this a bigger success.

Data from the ALFA X during the tests will be sent to both, a central control centre and a maintenance facility to make sure there are accuracy and precise time management.” 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. “We want to improve not only speed but also safety and comfort,” Ichiro Ogawa, the head of JR East’s research and development centre told as he unveiled this phenomenon to the media. The train is believed to reduce the travel time to half of what passenger shuttles take right now and because of alpha-x, the nation’s bullet train network will extend to reach Sapporo, the main city in Japan’s northern Hokkaido region. The Alfa-X is expected to start in 2030. If the train achieves its expected speed, the trip between Tokyo and Sapporo would be nearly halved to four and a half hours.

-Samarth Joshi

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  1. Great article

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