Shinkansen bullet train NZ700S: New bullet train enters service in Japan

A brand-new bullet train has entered service in Japan, and not only is it a record-breaker, but it can also operate during an earthquake.

The NZ700S is the first new shinkansen by the Central Japan Railway (JR Central) in 13 years.

Operating on the Tokaido Shinkansen line between Tokyo Station and Shin-Osaka Station in Osaka, it can hit record speeds of 360kmh, however, that will be capped at 285kmh while in service.

It is also equipped with a lithium-ion battery self-propulsion system, which means it can still function on a back-up battery in the event of an emergency, like in an earthquake.

Shin Kaneko, president of Central Japan Railway, told Kyodo News that he hoped passengers enjoy the new train.

"I am confident this is the best shinkansen in every respect - safety, stability, and comfort," he said.

Originally the NZ700S was going to be launched in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but the Games have been pushed back to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The train is designed for an even smoother ride than passengers would normally get on the country's other famed bullet trains.

It is also equipped with an upgraded automatic control and braking system. This helps the train slow down faster in case of an emergency, reports CNN.

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Last year, rail company JR East announced plans for an even faster train.

The Alfa-X is scheduled to go into service in 2030 and will be capable of reaching speeds of 400km/h.

There are also plans for a maglev line between Tokyo and Nagoya. The magnetically levitated train will travel at a top speed of 505kmh, cutting the time between the two cities to 40 minutes, from the current 110 minutes, reports The Washington Post.

Stuff.co.nz

See also: Japanese bullet trains: Designed in the '60s, still a modern marvel

See also: Fast trains, slow bars: The 11 things from overseas I miss the most

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