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Crimson bullet trains drive fans wild (pictures)

The E6 Series Super Komachi bullet trains recently started service in Japan, exciting fans and raising operational speeds toward 200 mph.

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headshots_Tim_Hornyak_140x100.jpg

Tim Hornyak

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1 of 7 Rakuten

The crimson bullet

The new E6 Series Super Komachi bullet train, seen here during testing, links Tokyo with Akita in northern Japan. Its bold design is matched by a maximum speeds of 320 kph (nearly 200 mph), placing it among the fastest commercial trains in the world.
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2 of 7 Video screenshot by Tim Hornyak/CNET

Needle nose

Built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Hitachi, the Super Komachi Shinkansen, or bullet train, has a long nose to help reduce aerodynamic pressure in tunnels. The nose cone opens for coupling with other trains.
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3 of 7 Tim Hornyak/CNET

Aerodynamic

The Super Komachi's tapered cockpit sits atop a nose that's 23 feet longer than that of its predecessor, the E3 Series Komachi.
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4 of 7 Video screenshot by Tim Hornyak/CNET

Control room

The control consoles in the Super Komachi are relatively simple.
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5 of 7 Tim Hornyak/CNET

Life on a northern train

Passengers settle into their seats on the Super Komachi before departure from Tokyo Station. The interior color scheme is meant to evoke the northern prefecture of Akita, which is famous for its rice and sake.
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6 of 7 Tim Hornyak/CNET

Boy meets train

A boy gets a close-up view of the Super Komachi. Operator JR East has promoted the bullet trains with posters than emphasize their design.
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7 of 7 Tim Hornyak/CNET

All aboard!

Rail fans jostle to take photos of the Super Komachi bullet train as it pulls out of Tokyo Station, bound for northern Japan. A trip to its terminus at Akita Station costs 17,650 yen ($187) and takes 3 hours and 51 minutes.

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