Train enthusiasts in Japan are ecstatic as East Japan Railway Company (JR East) official debuted the E5 Series Shinkansen or “Hayabusa” today which will be operating on the Tōhoku Shinkansen Line from Tokyo to Shin-Aomori with major stations like Sendai and Morioka. Hayabusa is Japanese for Peregrine Falcon, a bird that can be found in temperate climates like Japan and North America capable of reaching speeds of up to 320 km/h when diving for prey the same as the  E5 Series’ top speed.

Packed full of Technology

The E5 Series is the first completely new shinkansen model to be introduced in over a decade and incorporates many technologies resulting from years of research and testing. The Hayabusa has sensors that detect buffeting and shaking as it cuts through the air at high speed, when enough is detected that would disturb the ride quality of passengers the train adjusts to counteract this movement. Similarly when the train is negotiating a corner at high speed it counteracts this force by pumping compressed air into special springs undercarriage which means that passengers are literally riding on air. The long nose is the most distinctive feature of the new E5 Series and its purpose is to aerodynamically minimize noise when the high speed train enters a tunnel.

Demonstration ride anyone?

When the E5 Series was unveiled to the media 2 years ago I blogged about it and remarked that the N700 series was still my favourite. It still is but for how long? Train enthusiast in Japan went crazy when it was announced that 4000 seats were going to be made available for demonstration rides in mid February – East Japan Railway Company received 250,000 applications! o.O

Dreaming about reality

Jamaica doesn’t have a public passenger rail system anymore and hasn’t for a long while although the government is in talks with China on how railway services can be introduced in Jamaica. I can only dream about a sophisticated train like this being available here, well at least I’ll do my best to ride one (or all ^_^) of the bullet trains when i get to Japan later this year.