Shinkansen Might Lose Title of Japan's Fastest Train
Thanks to a more comfortable riding environment and increasing availability, railway travel is becoming more popular around the world. The speed at which some of the super trains travel can easily cut the average commute time in half and they are only getting faster. This can be seen by Kawasaki's proposal to build a new super train that will capture Japan's current record.
The design has been dubbed the "Environmentally Friendly Super Express Train" or "efSET." Details about the new train are still vague, but Kawasaki has said the design will focus on a more aerodynamic exterior and ways to reduce body weight without compromising the strength of the passenger compartments. The engineers are also planning a more efficient system that uses regenerative braking to harness some of the energy that is usually wasted.
The passenger compartments will be more spacious and, thanks to the use of larger windows, the passengers will be given a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside. The efSET will also be using the newest active damping technology to offer the smoothest, most comfortable ride available. The damping technology will also serve to keep the interior quiet and help to maintain a constant temperature.
Kawasaki has also offered to export the technology to other countries that are planning on building high speed railways in the near future. Together, the United States, Brazil, Russia, India and Vietnam have plans of building rail systems that total over 6000 miles in the next 20 years and the evSET would fit the bill nicely.
The Shinkansen railway network currently holds the title of Japan's fastest operating trains, reaching speeds of 188mph. If and when Kawasaki's evSET is completed, it will surpass the Shinkansen trains by almost 30mph with a projected top speed of 217mph.
The Shinkansen's title will be safe for a while as the concept design isn't expected to be completed until the end of next year. Once the concept is complete, verification of the design is projected to last until March of 2010. A final completion date has not been released.From : Kawasaki Heavy Industries