Monday 20 May 2019

224mph Bullet Train Launched

The world's fastest bullet train with a 72ft nose is unveiled in Japan, as experts say the 224mph locomotive will be operational by 2030

Dubbed the Alfa-X, it is capable of reaching speeds of up to 224mph and consists of ten carriages.

Its sleek silver design is matched by its long and pointed nose which stretches out 72 feet in front of it.

The locomotive begins thee years of testing as the country prepares to expand its bullet train network.

Sapporo, the main city in Japan's northern Hokkaido region, will be connected to the rest of the ultra-fast network and, if the train achieves its proposed speed, a trip between Tokyo and Sapporo would be nearly halved to four and a half hours.

It comes equipped with a host of other technology as well as its exceptional speed.

It is also fitted with an air brakes. Dampers and air suspension will also be used to keep it stable and conformable.

'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,' says the East Japan Railway, better known as JR East.

The Alfa-X comes with other features deigned to make it less susceptible to earthquakes.

Alfa-X's nose is designed to reduce noise and pressure at the extreme speeds and make it safer heading into tunnels.

Currently, the fastest conventional trains in the world can reach 200mph - also in Japan, as well as France.

Eurostar, which connects France and England by rail, has a top speed of just 185mph

This continues Japan's push into bullet train technology, but magnetic rivals are in operation which beat it in terms of raw speed.

These Maglev trains, which work by levitating via magnetism above the rails, can reach 268mph, enabling it to cover a 19-mile distance in just seven minutes and 20 seconds.

Shanghai currently uses these trains, the fastest in commercial operation in the world.

click here to see a video of the new Alfa-X train