By Stacey Leasca
May 13, 2019
Alpha-x train
Credit: JIJI PRESS/Getty Images

Getting around Japan has always been a breeze thanks to the country's bullet train system. But soon, you may be able to get around even faster thanks to a new train that could reach speeds up to 249 miles per hour.

The East Japan Railway Company began testing the ALFA-X, which could soon become the fasted bullet train in the world, last week.

As Japan Station, a Japanese transportation guide explained, the ALFA-X is a version of the country’s Shinkansen train, which debuted for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. That train is still operational around the country and includes stops in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. It can travel at speeds up to 199 miles per hour.

“The ALFA-X train is simply a prototype for use in test runs for the development of a possible future train,” Sanshiro Iwamoto, a researcher at the railway company, told USA Today. “The projected speed should be 249 mph per hour maximum, but, again, speed will only be determined during testing.”

Testing, CNN explained, will likely last for at least three more years. The goal for the train is to have it fully operational for commercial use by 2030. At that time, CNN noted, it will likely cruise around 224 miles per hour rather than pushing its limits of 249. But, even at its cruising speed, it will still be the fastest train in the world just ahead of China's Fuxing Hao train, which currently reaches speeds of 217 mph.

Part of the reason Japan’s new train can go so fast is thanks to its design, USA Today reported. The train comes with a 72-foot sleek nose, which is built to combat wind resistance. Behind it, the train carries 10 cars.

Japan is also testing another high-speed train model, the Shinkansen N700S. That train is expected to reach speeds of 190 miles per hour and will also be commercially available just in time for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.