Japan unveils supreme Shinkansen prototype

N700S Shinkansen

Here’s your first look at the redesigned Shinkansen that is ready to run through Tokyo and Osaka. Source: JR Central.

WITH a large gold “S” logo emblazoned in gold on its side, Japan’s new Shinkansen (bullet train) prototype means business.

In fact, the “S” stands for supreme and the Shinkansen symbolizes “a new era for the Tokaido Shinkansen Line”. And it will be a far cry from the Hello Kitty-themed train that was unveiled a few months ago.

“The (N700S series) has been completely redesigned through renovating main facilities and equipment,” JR Tokai Shinkansen Operations Division deputy director-general Masayuki Ueno told Asahi.

In Japan, the bullet train’s long and slender nose is iconic but the science behind it is that it helps aerodynamic efficiency.

The N700S series features a sharper nose profile, which has been redesigned to have a modified “dual supreme wing type” profile. This will improve airflow and reduce a sonic boom effect while the train is moving through tunnels.

N700S Shinkansen

Source: JR Central.

The remodeled interior features upgraded seats with a new fabric and electrical outlets for every passenger. First class passengers will enjoy 15 percent more legroom.

It also has light-up overhead luggage racks which will illuminate at every stop so passengers will be able to find their belongings easier.

Automatic illumination of the luggage racks at each stop is intended to remind alighting passengers not to forget their belongings.

N700S Shinkansen

Source: JR Central.

The N700S series will allow for different layouts including an eight-car or a 12-car train rather than the standard 16-cars so transportation authorities can change the configuration as and when necessary.

The weight of the 16-car N700S series is notably lighter than the N700A trains as well, over 11 tons or 20 percent. This cuts its energy consumption by seven percent.

It will travel at 285 kmph on the Tokaido Shinkansen line and 300 kmph on the Sanyo Shinkansen line.

The N7000S series is able to accommodate a total of 1,323 passengers.

Test runs are due to begin this month and the trains are set to debut in 2020 on the Tokaido Shinkansen line, just in time for the Tokyo Olympic Games.