The prototype of the next-generation bullet train designed to travel at 360 kilometers per hour has been brought to Sendai for trial operations, East Japan Railway Co. said.
Six "FASTECH 360Z" carriages were transported to Sendai on freighters from train factories in Kobe and other areas. They were transferred to trailers at the Port of Sendai and brought to a bullet train depot in Sendai.
FASTECH 360Z will begin trial operations on the Tohoku, Yamagata and Akita Shinkansen lines in April.
FASTECH 360Z carriages are smaller than FASTECH 360S, another version of the prototype that is used for test runs exclusively on the Tohoku Shinkansen.
Since the Akita and Yamagata Shinkansen lines were built simply by widening the gauge from a narrow one to a standard one, only smaller bullet trains can run on these lines.
FASTECH 360Z will run at a maximum speed of 360 kilometers per hour on the full-scale Tohoku Shinkansen Line but will be forced to slow down to 130 kilometers per hour on the Yamagata and Akita Shinkansen lines, which are popularly called "mini Shinkansen."