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

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

    Kyle says:
  • 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.

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

    Adam says:
  • 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. 😉

    Davide says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

technology news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
504,284 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample
designboom magazine