2005/07/26

Faster Than A Speeding Bullet(train)

Never content to rest on their, um, laurels, the latest Shinkansen design, the Nozomi N-700, made a test run yesterday from Tokyo Station to Shin-Osaka, a distance of 515 km (that's 320 miles to you people in the British Colonies). The new machine will enter service in eary 2007.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com


The N-700 has a newly designed front end to make it more streamlined and hold it on the track (I wish they wouldn't tell me things like that). I think the real reason for the new design is because the present model is said by some (see the annoymous comment on the previous bullet train post) to resemble a duck. The new one is referred to as an "eagle". So there! Personally, I prefer the present cab design, but with things changing at this pace, it does not pay to be nostalgic.

Though it has a top speed that is 20 kph faster, the average speed for the run is not up by that much - it only shaves 5 minutes off the 2.5 hours, but comfort is said to be improved (hard to believe) by having the cars tilt on curves. This also allows them to take curves at higher speeds.

In other news....

East Japan Railway Co. on June 24 unveiled a new shinkansen bullet train in the town of Rifu, Miyagi Prefecture that will operate at a speed of 360 kilometers per hour, possibly the world's fastest. The orange "ears" you see pop up to provide air resistence to help slow the train when braking.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com


Like I said, it doesn't pay to be nostalgic about bullet trains.

6 comments:

Don Snabulus said...

Those are all very impressive, especially when compared against America's aging, antiquated train system.

If they tried something like that here in the USA, all the funds would be soaked up (whether private or public) by leeches and we might not ever get to see the train.

The Moody Minstrel said...

Ever see the movie Singles?

Mayor of Seattle: So it's a train. When are you train people going to get it through your heads that people like their cars?
Designer: Yeah, but I figure that, if you give people good coffee, great music...
Mayor of Seattle: It's a train.
Designer: ...er, uh...
Mayor of Seattle: Let me put it to you this way: my answer is (closeup, smiles) NO.

People said no one would ever ride Maxx when they established it in Portland. Now I've heard it described as one of the most popular and efficient light rail projects in the U.S. (and NOT by a Portland website!). I guess you just never know.

Dino said...

Looks like a fast stegasaurus.

s.j.simon said...

:) You know, the swiss were very late to lay rail tracks. check this out

gate valves said...

ahaha., yeah a fast stegosaurus...
it kinda looks like mickey mouse as well :P

Pandabonium said...

Dino - indeed - and when the energy runs out, it too will be a dinosaur.

S.J. Simon - interesting. I've been on a Swiss train, right here in Japan. It's one in the mountainous resort area of Hakone. There are quite a few Swiss ropeways here too.

gate valves - thanks for the comment. Interesting website. My dad was an engineer and designed and built hydraulic and pneumatic valves for a lot of years, but the application was always aircraft.