Japan Railway & Transport Review No. 7 (Inside front cover & inside back cover)

JR West Series 500 Shinkansen EMU

Pre-production Series 500 Shinkansen designed for operation speeds of 300 km/hour. It is due to enter service as a 16-car formation on the Sanyo (Osaka-Hakata) Shinkansen after completing test runs in 1996. The aluminium body reduces weight while pantograph pods and underbody skirt cut noise and improve aerodynamics.

Photo: (JR West)
Photo: Aerodynamic design reduces air resistance at very high operation speeds.
(JR West)
Photo: Futuristic driver's cab
(JR West)

JR Central Series 300X Test Train
The Series 300X has been under test at speeds higher than 270 km/h since May 1995 and it is hoped to exceed the Japanese record of 425 km/h presently held by JR East Star 21. The 300X may either enter service on the Tokaido (Tokyo-Osaka) Shinkansen before the MAGLEV system or it may even be an alternative. (MAGLEV is a magnetic-levitation guided high-speed transport system under joint development by JR Central and the Railway Technical Research Institute.) The aluminium body and underfloor skirt are designed to improve aerodynamics and to reduce noise. Two nose shapes: the "Cusp" and "Round Wedge" are being tested.

Photo: "Cusp" Nose Design
(H. Morokawa)
Photo: "Round Wedge" Nose Design
(H. Morokawa)
Photo: Driver's Cab
(H. Morokawa)
Photo: First-Class Carriage
(H. Morokawa)