Japan’s Shinkansen to Get Even Faster

by Benjamin Jones on September 19, 2008

One of the many places where Japan leads and the rest of the world follows is in high speed rail. Japan has had its shinkansen for over 40 years, and California is about to get the first in the US in a few years. China and Europe are a little further ahead, but Japan has the most comprehensive and smoothest running system in the world. And once again, a Japanese company is coming out with a “bullet train” that will beat speed records.

Yesterday, EcoGeek reported that Kawasaki is going to be building the next, fastest shinkansen. The train will be able to go 217 mph using lighter materials and aerodynamics to boost the top speed. The last time I was on a shinkansen, it could belt down the tracks at up to 180 mph. This wasn’t the fatest shinkansen out there, but I believe they currently top out just shy of 200 mph.

The interesting thing, however, is not that this train can go faster, it’s that it will. Most shinkansen can go well beyond their max speeds, but create too much noise and would break local laws limiting noise pollution from trains. This new train has obviously been designed to be more neighborhood friendly, and hopefully it will be able to get more Japanese of the roads and out of the skies to give the environment a break.

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1 jamesqf September 20, 2008 at 10:40 am

Just a minor quibble: I think the French TGV system is a bit faster than the Shinkansen: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TGV But I’d be happy to have either running here.

2 Joe Bloe September 23, 2008 at 5:46 am

All aboard the choo-choo train!

3 ligia November 8, 2009 at 8:59 am

Japanese company is coming out with a “bullet train” that will beat speed records?
WOW the japanese people love speed . What can I say…..BRAVO JAPAN:)

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