Next-generation bullet train car shown to media

Next-generation bullet train car shown to media

A developmental carriage from the next-generation bullet train has been shown to the media in western Japan.

East Japan Railway Company unveiled the front car of the ALFA-X, the test bed of the next generation bullet train, in Kudamatsu City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, at a branch of its manufacturer, Hitachi.

The new bullet train is expected to begin commercial service in 2030, when the Hokkaido Shinkansen line will be extended to Sapporo. It will have a maximum speed of 360 kilometers per hour.

The front car's 22-meter-long nose is designed to provide a reduction in pressure and noise for passengers' comfort when the train passes through tunnels.

The operator plans to complete the experimental car in May after installing additional equipment to reduce the impact of tremors if an earthquake occurs.

Another type of front car, which has a 16-meter nose, has been developed by different manufacturer.

JR East officials say the new bullet train will dramatically shorten the current travel time of eight hours between Tokyo and Sapporo.

They say they hope to attract passengers who prefer to travel by air.

Koji Asano, the head of the company's frontier railway system development center, says they aim to enhance the comfort of passengers as well as offering the convenience of high speed.