Japan Unveils New ‘Supreme’ bullet train

The 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics may be two years away, but Japan is already flexing its transportation muscles. Central Japan Railway Co. has rolled out its new high-speed Shinkansen N700S  or Shinkansen Supreme, train model.

The smarter, sleeker and quieter train will debut on the Tokaido Shinkansen Line, running between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka, in 2020.

But test cars will start operating March 2018.

“The (N700S series) has been completely redesigned through renovating main facilities and equipment,” Masayuki Ueno, deputy director-general of JR Tokai’s Shinkansen Operations Division, told the Asahi Shimbun.

“We have produced a train that can symbolize a new era for the Tokaido Shinkansen Line.”

In addition to its new, golden Supreme logo, the N700S series boasts a number of technological advancements.

Compared to the boxier N700A series, which entered service in 2013, the new Supreme series will have a curvier head profile.

The sharper nose design, called “dual Supreme wind,” will reduce noise when entering tunnels and lessen air resistance.

The 16-car variation is a whopping 11 tons lighter than the older generation, partly thanks to the new silicon carbide semiconductors and natural air cooling system.

As a result, the new Supreme train will consume less energy.

The latest technology applied to the N700S train will also shorten the braking system’s reaction time.

The underfloor equipment has been streamlined, allowing more customization flexibility. The usual 16-car variant can be shortened to eight- to 12-car formations, for example.

It’s hoped that this flexibility will make the model more attractive for potential overseas and domestic buyers.

In terms of speed, however, the new N700S model isn’t going to be any faster. It will have a maximum speed of 300km/h, the same as other N700 series trains.