TOKYO -- Central Japan Railway, also known as JR Tokai, on Thursday granted journalists their first test ride of the company's newest shinkansenbullet train, which clocked in at speeds topping 360 km per hour, breaking the all-time record for the rail operator.
The real audience for the demonstration, however, was the stakeholders of a privately constructed high-speed rail line in the U.S. state of Texas connecting the cities of Dallas and Houston.
For now, the N700S -- the "S" stands for "supreme" -- is due to debut in Japan in July 2020, coinciding with the Tokyo Summer Olympics. Thursday's test run began at a station in Shiga Prefecture, with the train beating the previous record of 330 km per hour at 11:49 p.m. Shortly thereafter, an interior monitor indicated the N700S achieved the speed of 362 kph.
"We were able to demonstrate [the N700S's] exceedingly high traveling performance," said Masayuki Ueno, deputy director-general of JR Tokai's shinkansen operations division.
Texas Central Partners, which is spearheading the construction of the 385 km Dallas-Houston corridor, is racing to raise as much as $15 billion to fund the project. But it remains to be seen if the company will break ground on the project this year, as planned. JR Tokai, which will provide the technology, believes the test run will provide the publicity needed to secure the funds.