JAPAN: Test running has started on the isolated Nishi-Kyushu Shinkansen between Nagasaki and Takeo Onsen, which is scheduled to open for revenue service on September 23.
Having been delivered to the line’s Omura depot in January, the first of JR Kyushu’s six-car Series N700S Kamome trainsets made an initial foray westwards to Nagasaki on May 10, at a maximum speed of 45 km/h. The operator hosted a small ‘welcoming ceremony’ at the future terminus, which is nearing completion. The following day saw the train venture eastwards to Takeo Onsen, where a matching event was held.
According to the Japan Railway Construction, Transport & Technology Agency, which is building the 66 km line, the initial testing programme is expected to continue until June 16. Over that time train speeds will gradually be raised to the maximum design speed of 260 km/h.