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New Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train to debut right before 2020 Tokyo Olympics

A test version of the next Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train model, the N700S, is seen on a trial run at JR Mikawa-Anjo Station in Anjo, Aichi Prefecture, in central Japan, on June 5, 2018. (Mainichi/Toru Kuroo)

TOKYO -- A new model of the Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train, which runs between Tokyo Station in the nation's capital and Shin-Osaka Station in the western Japanese city of Osaka, will be debuting in early July of next year, Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Central) has announced.

The N700S will begin operations just weeks before the July 24 start of the Tokyo Olympics. Last June, a passenger on a Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train slashed two women and fatally slashed a man with a machete who were also on the train, which was running through Kanagawa Prefecture, just south of Tokyo. Security measures on the N700S are being implemented with this incident in mind, including increasing the number of security cameras inside train cars and equipping the trains with more protective gear and equipment.

Of the approximately 130 Tokaido Shinkansen trains that JR Central currently has, the company is planning to replace the old ones with the N700S model, starting with the oldest ones, and will begin by putting into operation five N700Ss. The plan is to introduce a total of 12 of the new models within the 2020 fiscal year, and 40 by fiscal 2022.

The cost of putting 40 new N700Ss into operation, including repair parts, is approximately 240 billion yen.

(Japanese original by Norihito Hanamure, City News Department)

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