Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) said Friday it will raise the maximum speed of the Nozomi bullet train service to 285 kph between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka stations next year thanks to advances in braking technology.
JR Tokai, which operates the Tokaido Shinkansen Line, usually caps the Nozomi’s top speed to 270 kph but will raise the limit for 37 runs per day starting March 14. It will be the first time the speed limit has been raised on the line since March 1992.
JR Tokai said the change was made possible by the introduction of the N700A, a new type of shinkansen that boasts an improved braking system. The faster runs will link the nation’s two biggest business centers in two hours and 22 minutes, cutting three minutes off the current travel time, JR Tokai said.
West Japan Railway Co., operator of the Sanyo Shinkansen Line, which links Shin-Osaka Station to Hakata Station over in Fukuoka, said the fastest Nozomi will do the Tokyo-Hakata run in four hours and 47 minutes, also three minutes faster.
At present, the highest rail speed allowed in Japan is 320 kph on the Tohoku Shinkansen Line run by East Japan Railway Co. (JR East).