Japan is pushing the limits of rail travel as it begins testing the fastest-ever shinkansen bullet train, capable of speeds of as much as 400kmh.
To cope with massive wind resistance when entering tunnels, the Alfa-X’s first car will mostly be a sleek nose, measuring 22 metres. With just three windows, there looks to be hardly any space, if at all, for passengers in the front.
The front and rear of the train have a 72-foot long tapered nose for optimal aerodynamics. It will use a combination of roof-mounted air brakes and magnetic plates underneath for braking. Engineers will also test a 52-foot long version. It will carry up to ten passenger cars, but it is unclear how many each compartment will seat.
The ALFA-X is not scheduled to take on passengers until 2030. In the meantime, the Shinkansen N700S will begin operations in 2020. It will travel at 300 kph, which is still quite fast. If it is still not speedy enough for you, you can always take the Japan’s maglev which reached a top speed of 603 kpm (375mph) in 2015 but operates with passengers at 500 kph.