Jump to content
Sacto1985

JR East announces E-956 "ALFA-X" test Shinkansen trainset

Recommended Posts

Sacto1985

According to this JR East press release:

 

https://www.jreast.co.jp/press/2017/20170705.pdf

 

JR East on 4 July 2017 announced the construction of the E-956 trainset, known under the name ALFA-X (short for Advanced Labs for Frontline Activity in rail eXperimentation), which will test technology that will allow regular operation on the Tōhoku Shinkansen line at speeds as high as 360 km/h (they'll test up to 400 km/h). Scheduled for completion in 2019, this may be a precursor to the production trainset that will allow a one-way from from Tokyo to Sapporo at (probably) under 5 hours total journey time.

 

They're released two pictures of the what the trainset may look like:

 

http://i.imgur.com/uIBVL3t.jpg

Edited by cteno4
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
kvp

So the target speed is the same as for the commercial alstom agv sets and slightly above the fastest chinese trains. Imho the differences in nose design really show the line/tunnel construction differences between France/Italy and Japan.

Share this post


Link to post
Sacto1985

So the target speed is the same as for the commercial alstom agv sets and slightly above the fastest chinese trains. Imho the differences in nose design really show the line/tunnel construction differences between France/Italy and Japan.

 

True. Remember, this new test trainset have to consider operating at high speeds through the very long tunnels between Hachinohe and Shin-Aomori, the Seikan Tunnel and likely the tunnels between Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto and Sapporo Stations.

Share this post


Link to post
Sacto1985

By the way, it should be noted that the E-956 trainset will have two different nose designs for each end of the trainset. They want to determine which one is the best for higher speed operations on the Hakkōda Tunnel south of Aomori and the Iwate-Ichinohe Tunnel between Morioka and Hachinohe (I think JR East wants to push it well past 300 km/h inside the tunnel).

Share this post


Link to post
katoftw

Yeah I read that in the articles linked.  So they can do real world testing of 2 different designs.  Makes sense as you are only building one train.

Share this post


Link to post
Densha

Just like the Fastech 360...

Share this post


Link to post
Suica

Just like the Fastech 360...

It's been often done on experimental Shinkansen trains. Different leading car designs were also used on the WIN350, STAR21, 300X and even the Class 1000.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
katoftw

Good to get an update on the dates of trials.

Share this post


Link to post
Yavianice

@Sascha I think you mean 2030, as the article states: "The Alfa-X project is intended to produce a Shinkansen that can operate at 360 kph by fiscal 2030, when the Hokkaido Shinkansen Line will be extended to Sapporo Station."

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
JR 500系

Wow 2030… that is more than 10 years away... Will that mean we can only see the Shinkansen line reaching Sapporo in 2030? 

Share this post


Link to post
railsquid

Planned for 2031.

Share this post


Link to post
Yavianice
2 hours ago, JR 500系 said:

Wow 2030… that is more than 10 years away... Will that mean we can only see the Shinkansen line reaching Sapporo in 2030? 

 

Only? As far as I know, the Hokkaido Shinkansen is only planned to go as far as Sapporo. Also the Hokkaido Shinkansen reaching Sapporo in 2030 is very ambitious.

Share this post


Link to post
Sacto1985

I wouldn't be surprised if the prototype train mentioned in that article is already starting to take shape at either Hitachi's assembly line near Shunan or KHI's assembly line in Hyogo. Once complete, the test train set will be shipped to JR East Shinkansen Comprehensive Vehicle Center in Sendai to start testing.

Share this post


Link to post
kvp
1 hour ago, bill937ca said:

Lots of drawings of the project:

Do i see it right that one of the cab cars has only 3 windows (or about 4 meters) of usable cabin area? Is it really worth it to add passanger access into the car at all? (i do understand that the 22 meters long nose could potentially really help in negating tunnel pressure waves)

 

Imho the rest of the improvements (brake flaps, snow accumulation prevention, track brakes, active suspension, new pantographs) are really great. The fastech ears were cuter but these flaps look to be more effective due to having a higher surface area. On thing that comes to my mind is the question of all shinkansen tunnels having enough clearence for deploying the flaps?

Share this post


Link to post
HantuBlauLOL
7 hours ago, kvp said:

Do i see it right that one of the cab cars has only 3 windows (or about 4 meters) of usable cabin area? Is it really worth it to add passanger access into the car at all? (i do understand that the 22 meters long nose could potentially really help in negating tunnel pressure waves)

 

super VIP class.. or crew room perhaps?

 

7 hours ago, kvp said:

On thing that comes to my mind is the question of all shinkansen tunnels having enough clearence for deploying the flaps?

 

post 200 series shinkansens are much lower than their ancestors afaik

Share this post


Link to post
Sacto1985

No wonder why the nose design is so radical--they want to make the train set run as fast as 360 km/h (224 mph).

Share this post


Link to post
Kiha66

I'm sad the "cat ears" air brakes aren't returning on this one, I really liked that aspect of the last test train.  The EM breaking using the rail rather than the disks will be interesting, thats a pretty radical departure from previous designs.

Share this post


Link to post
kvp
7 hours ago, Kiha66 said:

I'm sad the "cat ears" air brakes aren't returning on this one, I really liked that aspect of the last test train.  The EM breaking using the rail rather than the disks will be interesting, thats a pretty radical departure from previous designs.

Afaik track brakes are pretty common worldwide. Both the old school physical contact variant common on trams and the modern magnetic non contact variant mandatory on some high speed lines for high speed running. The latter gets less effective with slower speeds but heats up the rails instead of the brake pads and does not wear. It caused some issues though when ICE sets teared up metal trackside box covers during braking on the first international test runs. The immediate area of the rails must be clear of magnetizable metals to use them safely. A sideeffect is that these brakes also increase downwards force on the rail/wheel contact areas and the thus the effectiveness of disk brakes at slower speeds.

Share this post


Link to post
Kiha66
1 minute ago, kvp said:

Afaik track brakes are pretty common worldwide. Both the old school physical contact variant common on trams and the modern magnetic non contact variant mandatory on some high speed lines for high speed running. The latter gets less effective with slower speeds but heats up the rails instead of the brake pads and does not wear. It caused some issues though when ICE sets teared up metal trackside box covers during braking on the first international test runs. The immediate area of the rails must be clear of magnetizable metals to use them safely. A sideeffect is that these brakes also increase downwards force on the rail/wheel contact areas and the thus the effectiveness of disk brakes at slower speeds.

 

Yep!  I was mostly referring to how the other shinkansen designs (I am most familiar with the 700 series family, but afaik the others use this as well) use a metal disk attached to the wheel which the Eddy current brakes act upon, rather than the rails themselves.  As far as I'm aware, the eddy current brakes using the rails themselves is new in shinkansens, most likely for the reasons you stated above.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddy_current_brake#/media/File:Uzu-brake.JPG
How the eddy current brakes are done on a 700 series bogie.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Suica

*appear*

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Sacto1985

I wonder where was that picture taken. I've heard that KHI is building the train set, so it's possible that YouTube member 4011tama1, who has taken many videos around the KHI Hyogo assembly plant, may have seen this test train set.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
kvp

I know that it's just the anti corrosion base paint around some parts but i think this train would look great in a JNR limited express livery.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×