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Why This Train Is The Envy Of The World: The Shinkansen Story



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In 1964, Japan unveiled the Shinkansen – a new high speed railway connecting the country’s two largest cities (in the 1960’s), Tokyo and Osaka. Travelling at speeds in excess of 120 mph (200 km/h), the new specially designed Shinkansen trains had the highest service speeds in the world.

But the Shinkansen project’s success had been anything but assured. Over five years of construction, the cost of building the Shinkansen had ballooned, nearly doubling over the original estimate to nearly ¥400 Billion. Vocal critics within Japan dismissed the Shinkansen project as destined for failure. Only a year before the new line opened, the director-general of the Japanese National Railways Construction Department described it as the “height of madness”. In particular, he criticized the decision to use a wider gauge track (standard gauge), which would make the Shinkansen incompatible with the rest of Japan’s narrow gauge network.

Outside of Japan, observers looked on with a mixture of curiosity and skepticism. The 1960’s was the age of the jet airliner and automobile. Many countries in the west were focusing on infrastructure projects to accommodate the enormous growth of both these forms of transportation. The United States in particular, was pouring billions of dollars into building new interstate highways and country’s rail network was actually shrinking. Railways were seen as simply too slow and inconvenient to compete with automobiles and aircraft. Many predicted that passenger trains would be extinct or near-extinct by the end of the 20th century.

But the opening of the Shinkansen changed the way the world viewed railways. The Shinkansen demonstrated that trains were capable of being the fastest mode of travel for intercity trips (faster than automobile and air travel). The Shinkansen was the fastest way to travel the 320 miles (515 km) distance from Tokyo to Osaka when total door-door travel times were taken into account. Within just the first 3 years, the Shinkansen carried more than 100 million passengers.

The Japanese helped inspire other countries to develop their own high speed networks, like France’s TGV which entered service in the early 1980’s. The enormous success of the original Shinkansen line spurred the construction of new Shinkansen lines westward. Over the course of the next half century, the network would be expanded to reach nearly every corner of Japan.

#Trains #BulletTrain #Shinkansen

Select footage courtesy the AP Archive
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33 Comments

  1. It's SHINKAN"S"EN not shinkanzen

  2. Japanese train : delays measured in seconds
    Indian railways: wait , you guys are measuring delays?

  3. I remember that i had a model of this train with my dad, it was perfect

  4. the yellow doctor looks like minion

  5. It looks likes a plane's cockpit 😭

  6. Length of Bullet Train is 913 feet?
    Speed of Bullet train 137mph or 220.48 kmh
    Speed of Slow train is 54mph or 86.9kmph
    Relative speed is 137-54= 83mph or (220.48-86.9=133.58kmh)
    Time taken for bullet train to pass slow train is 7.5 seconds
    relative speed of bullet train in meter per second is 37.1 .
    so in 7.5 seconds the train length is 37.1*7.5= 278.25 meters.
    1 meter is 3.280 feet.
    278.25*3.280= 912.893= 913feet or 278 meters.

  7. The shinkansen is 89ft

  8. 913 ft

  9. 日本の技術は世界一

  10. 1:27 disel 10 model fromthomas and his friends

  11. it departs 1 million people every day

    2020: yeahhh im not so sure about that buddy.

  12. Japan never fails to amaze me.

  13. 82ft 0inches

  14. The USAs Most Secret Plane — TR-3B Patent … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjYvCFhJs7I

  15. I'm not good at math or algebra, but guess I'd start from the point of the slower train pass.. wait, what was the question again?

  16. 973.6666666666666666666666667

  17. I’m Japanese. Shinkansen is very convenient and comfortable. Please come to Japan to take SHINKANSEN when the world is safe!

  18. It takes an hour to get to hiroshima by car where I live. Takes 18 minutes on that train. Costs around 100 dollars so yea.

  19. 신칸센 0계는 일본의 고도성장과 버블경제의 상징이지. .

  20. Shinkansen is suit for Japanese geography.

  21. Normaly, it would take 6 hours for 300kms journey on a train in Pakistan, sometimes the amount of time doubles too 🤣😂.

  22. the yellow doctor doesn't look like the 0 series

  23. please don't speak about the 0 series Shinkansen. you should speak about the 5,6, and 7 series.

  24. not "shinkanzen" shinkan-sen

  25. Wow, indonesia subtitle. Thanks

  26. Y tink 3

  27. こういうの、日本人として誇れるけど自分がやったわけじゃないから申し訳なくなる。
    先人に感謝しないとね。

  28. length of train is 0.2782 km

  29. In the movie Godzilla 1984 the train scene where Godzilla grabs the Bullet Train

  30. This would’ve been amazing in The US!

  31. Japan is unpredictable.

  32. It's a warm summer evening in Ancient Greece. Er um! Squared? Aristotle? Five?…

  33. 913

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