Saturday, November 16, 2013

N700A: Advanced Shinkansen Train

EMU JR Central N700A series (modified cars) stands at Tokyo Station on the Tokaido Shinkansen
 
Currently, we often encounter a new train in Tokyo Station on the Tokaido Shinkansen. It is the EMU "N700A" series, which is an evolved version of the N700 series.

What is the difference between the N700 and the N700A series? The main difference between both trains is their brake performance. New disc brakes were adopted by the N700A series. As you may know, the braking system on a bullet train is quite important in Japan, since we have to stop the train steadily without derailment as soon as an earthquake hits a railway.

The brake disc of the N700A series is fixed to the wheel by bolts in the "center" of the discs. Before debuting the N700A, the disc was fixed to the wheel by bolts at the "edge" of the disc. It has been causing a deviation of friction heat deformation of the disc by braking. But, in the new system, this deviation has been decreased drastically. Newly developed bolts have enabled this new brake. Passengers cannot see this system directly; but it is a great deal of progress in the underfloor space.

The N700A is of two types. One type are the newly-manufactured cars, which have a large logo of "A" on their bodies; meanwhile the others are modified cars, which have a small logo of "A". Look at the following photo. It is a modified car with a small logo of "A" on the body.

The shinkansen system is a crystallization of new technology and sedulous efforts.

 
Side view of the EMU N700A series (modified cars)