With a maximum speed of 249 miles per hour, the new Alfa-X model by Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Hitachi will be the fastest bullet train in the world, according to CNN.
The current zippiest model, which is in use in Japan and France, has a capacity of roughly 200 miles per hour.
Test runs for the train, which will run between the Japanese cities of Aomori and Sendai, began on Friday. It is slated to take its first passengers in 2030.
Alfa-X is an acronym for the train’s full name, which is far from fast to say: Advanced Labs for Frontline Activity in rail eXperimentation.
Per Design Boom, the specially designed model has a 72-foot-long nose that is elongated on purpose to be aerodynamic; it helps reduce pressure and noise when the train zooms through tunnels.
Other innovative features include vibration and temperature sensors, three kinds of brakes (traditional, rooftop and magnetic) and specialized equipment made to lessen impact in the event of an earthquake. A green line runs along the Alfa-X’s 10 electric cars, the Telegraph reports.
By contrast, India’s first semi-high-speed express train can run up to a maximum speed of 160 kilometers (99 miles) per hour – although it broke down just a day after its February launch.
And last February, an Amtrak train considered to be high-speed broke apart while going 125 miles per hour.
While the Alfa-X is on track to be the fastest bullet train in existence when it launches, it won’t surpass the fastest train in the world, which is currently Shanghai’s magnetic levitation (“maglev”) train, which has a maximum speed of 268 miles per hour, The Verge notes.
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