japan unveils world’s fastest bullet train complete with 22-meter nose

japan unveils world’s fastest bullet train complete with 22-meter nose

japan has unveiled its latest new generation bullet train which will be able to travel at top speeds of 400 kilometers (224 mph). called the alfa-x, the train is made up of 10 electric cars manufactured by kawasaki heavy industries and hitachi. the carriages feature a light green line running along their silver bodywork, but the most distinct feature is its sleek 22 meter (72 feet) nose.

japan unveils world’s fastest bullet train complete with 22-meter nose designboom

image by keigo iwamoto
thumbnail image (bottom) via the telegraph, (top) via nikkei asian review.



the new train’s speed surpasses the world’s fastest bullet trains which are currently in operation in japan and france, travelling at a maximum speed of around 200mph. alfa-X’s aerodynamic nose is dramatically elongated to cope with these extreme speeds, minimizing pressure and noise when passing through tunnels.


as well as the prototype’s current 72 feet nose, rail officials are reportedly also planning to test the train with a nose stretching 52 feet. according to the telegraph, they will analyze pressure and noise levels between the two noses when the train enters tunnels to determine the most suitable design.

japan unveils world’s fastest bullet train complete with 22-meter nose designboom

image courtesy of kyodo news



alfa-X boasts multiple high-tech features including vibration and temperature sensors. in addition to conventional brakes, the new bullet train will have air brakes on the roof and also use magnetic plates near the rails to slow down. specialist equipment on board will also help to reduce the impact of possible earthquake tremors. 


the 10-car bullet train began test runs on friday (may 13, 2019) between the cities of aomori and sendai at night. these tests will be conducted over three years in the lead up to its scheduled debut in 2030.


video by tobirabito

  • Yes Richard in Italy we decided to limit to 330km/h due to high energy consumption. Bringing to 360km/h would require much more energy (proportional to the square of speed) and would cut a three hour journey by only no more than 10 minutes.
    In Shanghai (wich I used it !) the track is only 30 km long @350 to 430km/h. Ask why there is no expansion of meglev in the world since 2000?? …again energy consumption. 😉

  • The maglev in Shanghai gets up to 432 km/h.

  • Richard the fastest trains in world are in Japan and already break the 400km/h listed above. China and especially Italy don’t have anything even close.

  • Richard, Try that math again. 248,548 miles is nearly the circumference of jupiter. (you know the planet 11x the size of earth)

  • Hi,

    First, 400 Km/h = 248,548 miles/h (not 224)

    And the fastest trains in the world, are the chinese at 350 Km/h which were made to run at 380 Km/h, but due to extensive wear of the catenaries, were slowed down to 350. There was a detailed documentary explaining all of it.

    And after that there is the italian AGV that is made to run at 360 Km/h, but currently (last I’ve read on wikipedia) run at 330 Km/h.



    Richard Migneron

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