Japan has pretty much been at the forefront of highspeed train technology since highspeed train technology began existing. And thought it’s a bit of a surprise that they don’t hold the current train speed record, I never doubt that they’ve got new train technology around the corner.
So I’m not surprised that Kawasaki Heavy Industries just announced that they’ll be building a new rail line in Japan that will be faster than the previous record holder, the Shikansen.
The new train has a rather lame name “the Environmentally Friendly Super Express Train” but maybe it sounds cooler in Japanese. That is a pretty accurate assessment though. The train’s top speed will be around 217 miles per hour, achieving that speed with less fuel through use of aerodynamics and light-weight materials. Plus, a regenerative braking system will capture kinetic energy in batteries for later use.
Japan has always had a great rail system, but with 10,000 new miles of track planned for the next 20 years, and these new high-speed trains, it seems they’ll just be getting better.