New bullet train, safer in case of major earthquakes

6 years ago by in Featured, Japan

shinkansenCentral Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) will soon release its new bullet train model, N700A, featuring a braking system that reduces the stopping distance. The new model, which is the sixth series in JR Tokai’s Shinkansen designs, will be released next month.

The new bullet train’s technical priorities will change from top speeds to shorter braking distances, which will help high-speed trains stop faster and safer in case of a major earthquake.

Shinkansen trains are built to activate emergency braking in case of strong earthquake tremors. The N700A’s braking distance is about 10 percent shorter than conventional models.

“We pursued faster stopping times for the new train. We prioritized improved safety over higher speed,” a company official said.

From Tokyo to Shin-Osaka stations, the new model’s top speed will be 270 kph, while the traveling time will be two hours and 25 minutes.

Because the line has many curves, it is difficult to increase the train’s speed to more than 270 kph. The company must also consider noise pollution as the trains run through densely populated areas.

JR Tokai intends to start building a line that will connect Tokyo and Nagoya in 2027, which will then connect Tokyo and Osaka in 2045. The line is expected to have a maximum speed of 500 kph and a travel time of one hour and seven minutes.