NAGOYA, Japan -- A lot is riding on Central Japan Railway's next shinkansen bullet train.
The Japanese company known as JR Tokai is preparing to introduce the new N700S -- the "S" stands for "supreme" -- on the Tokaido Shinkansen line that connects Tokyo and Osaka. The rollout is planned for fiscal 2020, when Tokyo will host the Summer Olympics. The last time the capital hosted the games, back in 1964, the very first Tokaido Shinkansen trains were brought into service. The company has two target markets in mind: the U.S. state of Texas and Taiwan. The symbolic timing of the N700S launch, though, is not what makes the train so strategically important. JR Tokai sees the model as the key to the overseas expansion it has been dreaming about for years.
"The N700S will be a revolutionary train," JR Tokai President Koei Tsuge said. Not only will it be much lighter than previous models, but it will also have a number of upgrades, such as power outlets for mobile devices at all seats.