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Shinkansen | Bullet Speed

 

New Truck Line 新幹線


The Shinkansen (新幹線 - New Truck Line) is a network of high-speed railway lines in Japan operated by five 'Japan Railways Group' companies. Shinkansen literally means new trunk line, referring to the high-speed rail line network. The nickname bullet train is sometimes used in English for these high-speed trains. The Shinkansen is no longer the fasted train in the world, beaten to the crown by the Shanghai Maglev and also other European trains such as the Trenitalia Frecciarossa 1000 in Italy. However, the Japanese are currently in the process of constructing their own Maglev train which will easily once again be crowned as the fasted train in the world. 

The maximum operating speed is 320 km/h (200 mph) (on a 387.5 km section of the Tohoku Shinkansen). Test runs have reached 443 km/h (275 mph) for conventional rail in 1996, and up to a world record 603 km/h (375 mph) for maglev trains in April 2015.

Taking speed out of the equation these are easily the most beautiful trains on the planet. Their iconic long noses and streamlined design make them look like a transportation system from the future. Travelling on them is a must experience for anyone visiting Japan. Watching the fields, mountains (and if your lucky Mt Fuji), cars and busses being left behind by the Shinkansen's sheer speed is an exciting experience for anyone.


 

Further Reading

Japan Rail Pass | www.jrpass.co.uk
See Japan | www.seejapan.co.uk
Lonely Planet | www.lonelyplanet.com/japan 
Japan National Tourism Organisation | www.jnto.go.jp/eng