JR East has launched trial test of its new ALFA-X Shinkansen trainset (E956 Shinkansen), designed to achieve a top speed of 400 km/h on the Sendai – Shin-Aomori rail line.
The train is expected to enter commercial operation in 2030, paving the way to a next generation train fleet, able to run at speeds of up to 360 km/h on the Tohoku and Hokkaido Shinkansen lines, when the Hokkaido Shinkansen line is scheduled to be extended to Sapporo.
The ALFA-X train is designed to use IoT, big data, and other technologies to advance new concepts in development based on concepts: pursuit of greater safety and stability, improvement of comfort, reduction of environmental burden and reform of maintenance.
The E956 Shinkansen trial train is used as a test platform to evaluate the research and development.
To achieve greater safety and stability, the train is designed to stop quickly and safely, with independent judgements on safety, through autonomous judgment of train conditions performed by monitoring devices. To minimize the environment effects, the E956 Shinkansen train offers quieter operation and is designed on energy-conservation approach, based on energy-saving driving concept.