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Japan introduces Bullet Trains

Type N700 bullet train Type N700 bullet train.

The Type N700, a new bullet train jointly developed by Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) and West Japan Railway Co., made its debut Sunday on the Tokaido Shinkansen and Sanyo Shinkansen lines.

A Type N700 bullet train pulls out of Shinagawa Station in Tokyo early Sunday as the presidents of Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) and West Japan Railway Co. celebrate the new train`s debut. At Shinagawa Station in Tokyo at 6 a.m., top executives of the two railways celebrated the departure of the Hakata, Fukuoka-bound Nozomi No. 99, which was packed with 1,300 passengers despite its early Sunday morning departure. The Nozomi No. 99 was added to the timetable in line with JR`s scheduling changes that took effect Sunday.

Excited train buff Koichi Inoue, a 40-year-old civil servant from Yokohama, said before his departure, "No matter what, I needed to be aboard this very first train. During my ride, I plan to examine how much the car will tilt on curves".

Also at 6 a.m., a Type N700 bullet train departed for Tokyo from Shin-Osaka Station.

JR officials are touting the Type N700 as the fastest bullet train ever. It will travel between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka stations in two hours and 25 minutes — five minutes less than before. It will barrel between Tokyo and Hakata in four hours and 50 minutes, saving about 10 minutes.

JR Tokai President Masayuki Matsumoto said at the launch ceremony, "These train cars are no doubt top-end cars, designed with our cutting-edge technologies."

It is the first bullet train revamp in eight years, since the original Type 700 was introduced in 1999.




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