Snow slows Hokkaido Shinkansen in test-ride
Asahi -- Jan 29
An H5-series Shinkansen train was put through its paces Jan. 28, two months before the start of the first high-speed rail service in Japan's northernmost main island.

The Hokkaido Railway Co. (JR Hokkaido) bullet train left Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station in Hokuto, Hokkaido, at 10 a.m. bound for Kikonai Station in Kikonai, Hokkaido, 35.5 kilometers south.

The train boasts a maximum speed of 260 kph, but kept to 210 kph during the test-ride because of snow on the tracks. It took 13 minutes to make the journey.

Although almost half of the route between the two stations passes through tunnels, the vast Tsugaru Strait that separates Hokkaido and the main island of Honshu comes into view as the train glides into Kikonai Station.

JR北海道は28日、3月に開業する北海道新幹線の新函館北斗―木古内で、開業に合わ­せて投入する新型車両H5系での初の試乗会を報道関係者向けに開いた。H5系は雪煙を­上げながらスムーズに加速し、函館山や津軽海峡など北海道らしい景色が楽しめる約35­・5キロを、開業後と同じ片道13分で走行した。
News sources: Asahi, Kyodo
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