Japanese rail operator JR East is testing a new version of its shinkansen bullet trains, capable of hitting as much as 400km per hour. When it enters service by 2030, it will be scheduled at 360km/hr, the world's fastest.
China also has a high-speed train capable of 400km/h, but its normal operation is at 350, just a bit less than the new Alfa-X. The new Japanese train will be making test runs at night for the next three years.
If the picture above looks both familiar and a bit odd, both are true. The 10-car train has the sleek front end of all the bullet trains, to cut wind resistance, but this one's nose occupies almost all the 80-foot length of the car. That's part of a design to defeat wind resistance when entering tunnels.
But, by the time it goes into service, it may have already lost the world speed title to another Japanese train. A new maglev line being built between Tokyo and Nagoya, mostly through deep tunnels, is set to open in 2027, operating at speeds up to 505km/h, cutting the travel time from 110 minutes to 40.