Japan’s SHINKANSEN 500 (also known as the Bullet train) is meant for speed. It’s been 50 years since the advent of the SHINKANSEN. There are many series from 0 to 800, E1 to E6, and Maglev series starting from L0 is one of the most anticipated big things about to happen.
WHAT IS THE SHOWSTOPPER OF THE SHINKANSEN?
Surprisingly, the speed itself is the big showstopper of the SHINKANSEN. As time went on, it has evolved in terms of speed and economy. SHINKANSEN’S speed varies from 270-320 km/hr. When this high-speed train passes through the tunnels, the air gets trapped and compressed in the gaps between the train and tunnel walls. By which the pressure of the air is increased in the gaps, and when the train leaves the tunnel, due to the pressure developed there is a huge bang at the end of the tunnel which exceeds the environmental standards. Engineers are the only go-to guys to solve the problem.
SHINKANSEN 500 – KINGFISHER – AERODYNAMICS
EIJI NAKATSU a Japanese engineer is the man behind SHINKANSEN 500 design. EIJI NAKATSU is a bird watcher as well, and he got inspired by the structure of Kingfisher. Kingfisher in order to hunt, it dives into the water without generating any splash. The narrow, streamlined, and incessantly increasing beak of the kingfisher plays a vital role in the splash less dive. EijiNakatsu keenly observed this and came up with a similar design.
With this streamlined design there is no impact between the air in tunnel and train, rather the air flows upon the train. This streamlined design increased the speed of the train by 10-12% and reduced electricity to 15%. From 500 series this type of long streamlined designs can be seen.
This is the Bio-mimicry behind the enticing design of the SHINKANSEN 500.
L0 Maglev series on the same railway can travel up to 500kmph in which this type of design is inevitable.