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Class E956 "ALFA-X"
ALFA-X image 20170704.jpg
An artist's impression of the new train showing the two different nose end styles
Number under construction1 set (10 vehicles)
Formation10 cars
Operator(s)JR East
Maximum speed400 km/h (250 mph) (nominal)
Electric system(s)25 kV AC, 50 Hz
Current collection methodOverhead catenary
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)

The Class E956 (E956形), branded "ALFA-X" is a ten-car experimental Shinkansen train on order by East Japan Railway Company (JR East) in Japan to test technology to be incorporated into future shinkansen trains operating in service at speeds of up to 360 km/h (225 mph). The name is an acronym for "Advanced Labs for Frontline Activity in rail eXperimentation".[1]


The experimental trainset is intended to be tested at speeds of up to around 400 km/h (250 mph) to evaluate new technologies to be incorporated into new trains to operate in revenue service at speeds of up to 360 km/h (225 mph).[2] It will test new technologies including dampers to reduce vibration and reduce the likelihood of derailment in major earthquakes.[2] It will also test body designs that reduce snow adherence in wintry conditions.[2]

The E956 train will evaluate two different end car nose profiles.[3]


JR East officially announced its plans to build a ten-car ALFA-X train on 4 July 2017.[1] The train is due to be delivered in spring 2019 for extensive testing and evaluation.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "JR East to build ALFA-X 360 km/h Shinkansen testbed". Railway Gazette. 7 July 2017. Archived from the original on 18 July 2017. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Kusamachi, Yoshikazu (4 July 2017). JR東日本の新幹線試験車「ALFA-X」2019年春完成…「営業360km/h」を検証へ [New "ALFA-X" JR East experimental shinkansen train to be completed in spring 2019 - to test operations at 360 km/h]. Response (in Japanese). Japan: IID Inc. Archived from the original on 18 July 2017. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  3. ^ Ueshin, Daisuke (4 July 2017). JR東日本E956形"ALFA-X"新幹線試験車両を新造、360km/h運転の可能性も検証 [JR East to build "ALFA-X" experimental shinkansen train to evaluate feasibility of operations at 360 km/h]. Mynavi News (in Japanese). Japan: Mynavi Corporation. Archived from the original on 19 July 2017. Retrieved 19 July 2017.

External links[edit]

  1. ^ Yamanashi Test track is a part of this route
  2. ^ Demostrating operation since 2020
  3. ^ some sections exist today as Keisei Skyliner