Bullet Train History

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1.1 History of bullet trains Japan is the first country in the world to develop bullet trains. The Shinkansen is a network of high-speed railways operated by Japan Railways and the first project, Tokaido Shinkansen, was launched in 1964. The launch was a significant milestone for Japan in view of the abandonment of the original bullet train plan in the 1930s. What is relatively unknown to the general public is that proposals for bullet trains started approximately 30 years prior to the official launch. In the 1930s, despite being affected by the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923, Japan was still one of the leading economies in the world. At that time, countries all around the world were competing to develop the fastest infrastructure- including…show more content…
The topography in Japan was deterrence to the railway system and air travel was not a sustainable option due to the limited carrying capacity. The early Tokaido main line was serving the general population at that time but had to take indirect routes to avoid the mountainous terrains in Japan. As a result, the government decided to revisit the plan to develop trains that would run at much higher speeds than before. With the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950 and the significant supply orders from the Americans, Japan’s economy boosted and was well on the road to recovery. 1.2 Launch of Tokaido Shinkansen in 1964 The first bullet train launched connected Tokyo and Osaka and coincided with the 1964 Summer Olympics. The rest of the world was ready to witness the success of the first high speed railway system in the world, which was running at a speed of 200km/hr. Although most shinkansen journeys have now become blurred together due to their predictability, one thing I remember from the inaugural run of the shinkansen was when the train accelerated around Tamagawa [after leaving the residential area of Tokyo], I felt a surge in my stomach and I was looking around for a…show more content…
The Shinkansen employs the Automatic Train Control (ATC) system that provides an indication of the maximum speed that the train should travel in accordance to route conditions as well as its proximity with the preceding trains. Trains would be automatically slowed down by the system if the signal indicates there the train is travelling too fast. The digitalized signal system enables the transfer of information quickly, improving system reliability and scheduling of the train

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