Japan’s next gen bullet train has just gone into testing. Made by Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Hitachi, the Shinkansen (Japanese for bullet train) Alfa-X is capable of reaching a maximum speed of 400 kilometers per hour, making it the world’s fastest bullet train.
The train will go into operation in 2030, but before that, the Alfa-X has to go through several years of test runs at nighttime. The test runs are going to happen at midnight, twice a week between the cities of Aomori and Sendai.
Here’s what the train will look like:
To cope with high speeds, it has a rather funny looking 72-foot long aerodynamic nose, designed to minimize pressure and noise made by the train, particularly as it goes through tunnels. It will use roof mounted air-brakes and magnetic plates underneath for braking.
Keep in mind that the Alfa-X is going to be the fastest bullet train only and not the fastest train overall. The train that currently holds that title is Shanghai’s maglev. Using magnets to hover above the rails, the maglev train is capable of reaching speeds of up to 431 kilometers per hour.
Though the Alfa-X is not going to be the world’s fastest train, it is going to carry Japan’s legacy of record-breaking bullet trains.