A redesigned nose, which has been developed to reduce air resistance, noise, and vibration, will make the N700S visually distinctive from the current N700A, but the new train will also feature a number of less obvious enhancements over the preceding design. Energy consumption will be reduced by 7% compared with the N700A, which was introduced in 2013. At just 11 tonnes, the drive system will be 20% lighter thanks largely to a new-generation silicon carbide (SiC) semiconductor, which JR Central has developed in partnership with Toshiba, Hitachi, Mitsubishi Electric, and Fuji Electric. JR Central claims these enhancements will give the N700S the lowest axleload of any high-speed train, at just 11 tonnes.
Enhancements to the ATC and braking systems will enable a 5% reduction in stopping distance at 285km/h if an emergency brake application is triggered in the event of an earthquake.
JR Central says the underfloor equipment layout has been optimised to increase the flexibility of the design, with just four vehicle types in each formation. This means it will be possible to use the same vehicle designs to produce eight, 12, and 16-car trains.
Other features include enhanced active damping control to improve ride quality in Green Car accommodation, and power sockets at every seat throughout the train. Onboard data recorders and vehicle diagnostic systems will also be upgraded to simplify maintenance.
Trials with a prototype N700S set are due to begin on the Tokaido and Sanyo lines in 2018, with the first production trains scheduled for introduction in the 2020 financial year.