The first Shinkansen train model, the O series, introduced in 1964
Shinkansen, Japan's high-speed railway system known as the bullet train, has been a leader of the world’s railway technology since it was introduced in 1964. Shinkansen has never ceased to evolve and has grown so accurate and safe that it is exported to the rest of the world. Recently, the Shinkansen family has added new members with even more advanced technologies, including automatically changing speed, greater safety and more comfortable passenger seats. Some foreign visitors fly all the way to Japan to enjoy a ride on Shinkansen. It is safe to say Shinkansen is the world's best high-speed train that is fast, safe and comfortable to ride.
N700A Shinkansen model speeds against the backdrop of Mt. Fuji.
World's 1st Quake-Triggered Brake
Model N700A's characteristic long nose is designed to improve speed and reduce noise.
The N700A, a new Shinkansen model introduced in February 2013 to the Tokaido Shinkansen Line between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka, is a modified version of one introduced in 2007. The new train travels as fast as the old train, at a maximum speed of 270 km/h between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka and 300 km/h between Shin-Osaka and Hakata in western Japan. What makes the new train unique is its enhanced braking system.
Center-Fastened Brake Disc, the advanced braking system incorporated in N700A
In an emergency such as an earthquake, the new Shinkansen model travels a 10%-20% shorter distance than before after the brakes are applied before it stops. While its automatic train control (ATC) keeps tabs on the distance to a train running in front and stops itself if necessary, the new Center-Fastened Brake Disc has high braking performance. The new braking system is also called an earthquake-triggered brake. When electric power is cut by an earthquake, the braking system detects it and automatically starts functioning. It also increases braking force applied to the disc by 15%.
When the Great East Japan Earthquake hit in March 2011, 10 Shinkansen trains were speeding on a stretch hit hard between Fukushima and Iwate prefectures, including five trains running at 270 km/h. But all the trains were able to make an emergency stop and none of them derailed or rolled over. The new N700A Shinkansen model does not yet run on the same line hit by the quake. But since one never knows when or where an earthquake may occur, companies operating Shinkansen are always developing safer systems such as the earthquake-triggered brake to stop a train as soon as possible.