Foreign rail interests given high-speed run

Kyodo News

Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) ran a bullet train late Monday evening carrying diplomats and railway officials from such countries as the United States, Britain and India in hopes of better marketing the technology overseas.

In the demonstration, which began at 11:40 p.m., the series N700 train, JR Tokai’s Nozomi express mainstay, ran between Maibara, Shiga Prefecture, and Kyoto at 330 kph, faster than its commercial service speeds.

The people aboard had attended a symposium earlier in the day in Nagoya on express train systems.

Bullet trains run at 270 kph between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka and 300 kph between Shin-Osaka and Hakata, Fukuoka Prefecture.

During the demonstration run, the train reached 270 kph three minutes after departure and 330 kph four minutes later, demonstrating its acceleration capabilities.

Over the weekend, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama handed promotional DVDs about bullet trains to U.S. President Barack Obama when he was in Tokyo. The DVDs were made by the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry and JR Tokai.