Not content with already running one of the world’s fastest train networks, East Japan Railway Company is developing its next-generation bullet train. The ALFA-X is due to enter commercial service in 2030, when the Hokkaido Shinkansen line is extended to Sapporo, linking Tokyo with Hokkaido’s biggest city.
An experimental carriage for the next-generation bullet train ALFA-X was shown to the media in Kudamatsu City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, at a branch of its manufacturer, Hitachi. One of the main features of the ALFA-X is the front car’s characteristic 22-meter-long nose designed to minimize pressure and noise when passing through tunnels. Another feature is that additional equipment has been installed to reduce the impact of tremors if an earthquake occurs.
The ALFA-X will have a maximum speed of 360 kilometers per hour, which is 40 kilometers faster than the fastest trains running now. The new bullet train aims to dramatically shorten the travel time between Tokyo and Sapporo.