World Fastest Bullet Train Alpha-X Tested In Japan


World's Fastest Bullet Train Alpha-X Tested In Japan

The world's fastest train Alpha-X has begun testing in Japan. It is capable of achieving speeds up to 400 kilometers (249 miles) per hour. The high-speed train should enter real service in 2030, operated by Rail company JR East who will cap its top speed at 360 kilometers per hour.

 To cope with massive wind resistance when entering tunnels, the Alpha-X's first car will mostly be a sleek nose, measuring 22m. With just three windows, there looks to be hardly any space, if at all, for passengers in the front. Painted in metallic silver with green stripes.

To improve ride comfort, enhanced dampers and a ‘tremble protection control device' are intended to minimize vertical vibrations, while changes to the lateral dampers will reduce any side-to-side motion. The active suspensions will also provide a degree of body tilt to allow operation through curves at higher speeds. Modifications to the underfloor structure is intended to reduce the risk of snow build-up during severe winter weather.

Learning lessons from the derailment of a Joetsu Shinkansen trainset in October 2004, JR East plans to integrate earthquake-preparedness measures in the ALFA-X, including ‘anti-earthquake dampers’ to suppress the movement of the car body and stabilize the train if a strong force is detected. ‘Crushable stoppers’ would permit a greater degree of movement between the bogie and car body so that any shaking of the train is not transmitted to the bogie in a way which could affect the wheel-rail interface.

Stopping is just as important. The new bullet train will have air brakes on the roof and also use magnetic plates near the rails to slow down, in addition to conventional brakes. The Alpha-X is a key part of a plan to offer faster services to Sapporo, the biggest city on the northernmost island of Hokkaido.

Alpha-X stands for "Advanced Labs for Frontline Activity in rail eXperimentation". The new train is based on JR's E5 platform, which already operates on major routes in Japan.

The ALFA-X marks a new stage of growth for the Shinkansen, pushing the world-renowned high-speed rail service even faster towards the future. JR East will link data between the train, control center, maintenance facilities, and staff to monitor performance and keep the trains operating at optimal levels.

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