Japan’s new bullet train debuts, can even run during an earthquake

The new N700S bullet train commenced commercial service on July 1. (Source: @CNN)

New Delhi (NVI): Japan has introduced its latest record-breaking bullet train ‘N700S’, which not only runs faster and smoother but is also able to transport passengers safely in case of earthquakes.

The N700S bullet train, where in “S” stands for supreme, entered into service on July 1 and serves the Tokaido Shinkansen line, which links Tokyo Station and Shin-Osaka Station in Osaka, reports CNN.

Reportedly, this is the first new bullet train model to be added to the line by the Central Japan Railway (JR Central) in 13 years.

According to media reports, it can run up to 360 kilometers per hour, which was a new record set during a test run last year, making it one of the fastest trains in the world. However, the operating speed will be capped at 285 kilometers per hour.

Japan had inaugurated the Tokaido Shinkansen line in 1964, connecting Tokyo and Osaka, just in time for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo that same year. It was the world’s first high speed railway line.

In appearance, the N700S doesn’t look too different from the older N700 or N700A models, apart from its elegant golden logo. While from the inside, newly designed seats allow passengers more comfort, especially for long-haul riders. Each seat has an individual power outlet.

In addition to this, to put focus on increased comfort, designers behind the new model put great emphasis on safety. This train has an upgraded automatic control and braking system that allows it to halt faster in case of an emergency.

The actual ride will be a lot quieter and smoother, too, thanks to a new active suspension system that helps absorb train movements.

Further, it’s also fitted with lithium-ion battery self-propulsion system — the first of its kind in the world. This allows the train to run for a short distance on its own during a power outage and will make it possible for it to move to a safer location at low speed if stranded in a high-risk area – on a bridge or in a tunnel during a situation like earthquake.

The upgraded components will take up less space under the train floor compared to the old model, making it possible for a more flexible configuration, from four to 16 cars.

Masayuki Ueno, deputy head of JR Central’s bullet train business department, said in an interview last year, “By making the mechanisms under the floor of the N700S lighter and more compact, we created a new standard. This new standard will also help when it comes to expanding our business overseas.”

Furthermore, it will also decrease energy consumption while speeding up production times, making it a more appealing option for operators internationally.

-RJV/CHK