Japan’s bullet trains were already a matter of envy for the rest of the world. The new ‘Supreme’ version can only heighten that feeling.
JR Tokai, the Central Japan Railway, recently unveiled the new prototype version of its Shinkansen bullet train (video above), which comes with a lot of new features and, according to Reuters, will be smarter, sleeker and quieter.
The first, and most prominent, is the sharper nose design, called “dual Supreme wing” which will improve airflow, lessen air resistance and reduce the sonic boom effect when the train enters tunnels. The seats, too, have been modified with power sockets for each seat, more recline, more legroom for first-class tickets, and luggage compartments that automatically light up at each stop to help passengers gather their belongings.
The redesigned model comes with 16 cars that can accommodate upto 1,323 passengers, and is a significant 11 tonnes lighter than previous versions. It also comes with a natural air-cooling system and a seven percent reduction in energy consumption.
While the maximum speed of the new train will be the same as the old one, travelling at 300 km an hour to begin with does not exactly make for a slow ride.
Though test cars will start operating this very month, the “Supreme” model will debut in 2020 on the Tokaido Shinkansen line, which runs between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka – just in time for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Indians will be particularly interested, given the plan to launch a similar train service in the country with Japanese collaboration.