The Fastest Bullet Train in Japan

Japanese company Kawasaki Heavy Industries recently announced the development of the country’s fastest high speed train. Named the “Environmentally Friendly Super Express Train” (efSET), the modern marvel will propel passengers along at 350 kilometers per hour, besting the record-holding Shinkansen’s 300km/h. The streamlined design also promises to be less noisy, more energy efficient, and will feature a state-of-the-art electrical control system.

Although Japan’s standing rail system is already considered to be one of the most efficient in the world, the introduction of Kawasaki’s new high-speed train might be considered a marvel even by Japanese standards. The efSET will feature an extremely lightweight and aerodynamic profile in addition to a regenerative braking system that will recycle the kinetic energy generated by its movement, thus minimizing the loss of energy.

Kawasaki, which started its operations in 1964, has put focus during the last decade in developing autonomous vehicles, which have been deployed at Japan and other countries. Each train was customized according to the requirements derived from the geographical conditions. Today, all rail cars have one common feature: the emission of a small amount of greenhouse gas. The meaning is that usage of trains for mass transportation could be beneficial ecologically worldwide, and thus most city planners intend to use trains for main inter-city transportation.

According to Kawasaki’s plans, the design of the new ultra fast efSET will be finalized by March 2010. Furthermore, the company has already announced that it plans to release the efSET internationally, as it sees the growing demand for such transportation. Estimations are that 10,000 km of high-speed railways will be deployed over the next 20 years worldwide, and there just might be a chance of seeing such advance trains in North America.

TFOT has recently covered the Non-Stopping Train, developed by Taiwanese inventor Peng Yu-lun, as well as a Train Speed Record set by high-speed French train named V-150 on April 3, 2007. Other transportation related stories covered by TFOT include TH!NK Ox, a five-seat, fully electric car which is capable of accelerating from 0 to 100km/hr in less than 8.5 seconds, and CCXR, the first homologated car currently in production to reach over 1,000 Brake horsepower, and a top speed of over 400 km/h.

For more information on the efSET, see Kawasaki’s press release (translated from Japanese by Google).

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