Saturday, February 8, 2014

Test-ride held for new model of bullet train

Members of the media and public were invited on Friday to join a test ride of Japan's latest model of bullet train.

The E7 series was developed for an extended shinkansen line, linking Tokyo with Kanazawa, located in central Japan, and near the coast of the Sea of Japan. The new line is scheduled to open next year.

More than 150 media personnel and 500 people chosen through a lottery rode on the new high-speed train on Friday.

The train traveled a roughly 190-kilometer stretch between Nagano and Omiya, which is part of the existing line.

The new train has a luxury carriage called "Gran Class". The carriage has only 18 large leather seats to give passengers extra room. The seats have a power recline feature that lowers the back up to 135 degrees.

The E7 is also the first bullet train model that has power outlets for all seats, which passengers can use for laptop computers or other devices.

East Japan Railway is holding more test rides over three days. The company says more than 214,000 people applied for 3,500 openings. That means just one out of about 60 applicants were lucky enough to win a ride.