"Fifty years ago this October [...] Japan’s first Shinkansen, or bullet train, slid out of Tokyo station and gathered speeds of up to 130mph en route for Osaka, heralding a new age of high-speed rail. The Japanese were well ahead of the game. It was 13 years before Italy followed suit, then France with the TGV. But although high-speed trains now glide across hills and plains from Spain to China, Japan’s futuristic-looking bullet train retains an aura that our grime-caked intercity expresses can never capture. [...] Unlike Concorde, the trains have an almost unblemished safety record. Despite Japan’s vulnerability to typhoons and earthquakes, not one of the 10 billion passengers who have used the service since its launch has died as a result of a derailment or collision. [...] Thank you to the bullet train pioneers. They may have been motivated by a need to link Japan’s cities, just as the champions of HS2 are now. But they should be given an award for tourism: these great train routes provide the best possible way to explore this extraordinary country."
13 October 2014
Bullet Train @ 50 ~ Japan's Stunning Speed Lead
Joanna Symons from the Telegraph spotlights 50 Years of the Bullet Train in Japan!