Boosting railway speed
The Ministry of Transport subsidizes the efforts by the Railway Technical Research Institute to develop basic and cutting-edge technologies for boosting railway speed, controlling noise, and solving other problems. The Institute engages in the development of technologies that are expected to contribute to greater convenience for users, while paying due consideration to safety and the environment. Based on its finding, Nozomi 500 Shinkansen trains went into commercial operation in March 1997, running at a speed of 300km per hour. The Guinness Book of World Records officially acknowledged that the average operation speed of Nozomi 500 is the worlds fastest, listing it in place of the French TGV.
The Nozomi 700 was jointly designed and developed by JR Central (JR Tokai) and JR West for use on the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen lines. It debuted on the Tokyo - Hakata routes on March 13, 1999. The train combines the technologies of JR Wests Nozomi 500 and JR Centrals 300X test car, which achieved the Japanese railway record, excluding linear motor cars, of 443km per hour. To suppress noise and reduce energy consumption, the first carriage has an aerostream form that looks like a platypus. The development concepts found in Nozomi 700 are (1) provide a comfortable train space, (2) adapt to the environment, (3) improve performance, and (4) reduce overall costs.