Browsing Tag: shinkansen

    My 5 minute guide to Japanese Bullet Trains (Shinkansen)
    Articles, Blog

    My 5 minute guide to Japanese Bullet Trains (Shinkansen)

    September 14, 2019

    Hey guys
    right now i’m on a shinkansen i’m going between Hiroshima and Fukuyama
    but I also just caught another shinkansen from Tokyo to Hiroshima
    I’ve been catching a lot of shinkansen’s these past two days
    So one of the things as a tourist that you can do when you come to Japan is use the JR
    rail pass which means you have unlimited rides on JR
    lines and shinkansens for a limited amount of time
    so you can purchase like a week, 2 weeks, whatever
    If you want to travel a lot this might be a really great option for you
    if not there’s also aeroplanes which can be a lot cheaper if you’re not travelling
    to so many areas But if you wanna travl on the shinkansen and
    you’re gonna travel a lot- (baby) YEEAAAAHHH
    ooooOoo th-
    ohhh my goood I don’t even know if you guys can hear me
    to be honest there’s so many sounds though
    Kenji there’s so many sounds KENJII
    This baby will be a part of my video I wanna tell you guys how I enjoy my shinkansens
    to the fullest With shinkansens it’s kind of not common
    for me to ride them, they’re a little bit expensive, they’re
    kind of a special occasion. So when I do ride them I make the most of
    them, it’s like they’re a holiday within themselves
    So one of the things about shinkansens is you can bring as much food as you want on
    them that’s one of the things that i love
    In Tokyo station you can get these things called ‘Ekiben’
    which is basically just a station bento box that you can take on shinkansens
    So they have heaps of different options, they even have vegetable options and vegan options
    In Tokyo station there’s a lot of different things to choose from
    On the way here I got the most delicious bento box I have ever eaten
    It was sooo good I also picked up two soy cream donuts to take
    with me on the journey which you can also find in tokyo station
    So just so you know, you are allowed to drink alcohol on the shinkansen
    The guy sitting next to me on the last train drank two bottles of wine
    I mean they were still like this big, but he was just chugging it
    So if you feel like drinking a beer, having some wine, keeping it luxurious, keeping it
    chill Just grab some alcohol on the way in and you
    can drink it on your journey Now shinkansens can range from a lot of different
    times, right now we are on one for just 20 minutes
    but on the way here we rode one for 4 hours When you catch a shinkansen each of them have
    different names and they go different speeds and to different places
    So make sure you check up what kind of shinkansen you want to ride
    what’s the most expensive, what’s the least expensive
    what the ride times are, that kind of thing always good to know
    For this shinkansen ride I got a donut so I’m just going to be eating that while I
    talk to you guys Now if you are catching the shinkansen towards
    kyoto and osaka from tokyo you will be able to see mt fuji on a good day
    Luckily enough I was able to see it last night This is so good
    If you do forget to bring like a bento box or some snacks or whatever
    there’s a trolley that goes through the train which has some snacks and drinks and
    things to choose from if you get hungry while you’re on your trip
    and you forget to get something beforehand They also have toilets and some vending machines
    they’re a little bit more expensive and the drinks will be quite small i think
    but the options is there if you want to get a drink while you’re on the shinkansen
    If you do get a shinkansen and if it’s possible I do recommend getting a window seat
    because one of the best things is to look out the window and see all of the scenery
    go by I love it so much Honestly it’s basically like getting a flight,
    liike going on an airoplane but you don’t have to go through the whole
    check in process and getting on the plane and waiting for take
    off having all of that extra hassle
    this one just goes super fast you have a good time
    and suddenly you’re there, that’s why it’s a little more expensive than flying
    so if you’re travelling to Japan on a budget I do recommend checking out flights to different
    areas rather than the shinkansens Also don’t forget to bring something to
    do, something to read, you could just play on your phone,
    watch a movie if you have a way to do that It’s chill you can still use internet and
    everything but really, it’s just nice to look out the
    window so cool
    So you can get a reserved seat but it’s quite a bit more expensive than a ‘choose
    your own seat’ seat So if you do it the cheaper way, if its a
    more empty shinkansen then it’s great you can sit wherever you want
    but if you come in and it’s quite busy then you might have to stand
    So that’s kind of what can happen with a – they’re called ‘jiyuu seki’
    choose freely seat so just be careful with those but it should
    be fine Ok so that was just a little quick introduction
    to shinkansens and how i like to ride them
    how do you guys like to ride shinkansens? do you have any extra things that you like
    to do?or anything i missed? any tips or tricks? let me know in the comments down below
    Thanks for watching, if you enjoyed this video please give it a thumbs up, leave a comment
    down below, hit subscribe if you want to see more videons like this or not like this
    and I’ll see you guys in the next video Jaaaaaaa ne!


    Tokyo to Osaka: Cheapest and Fastest Transport Options

    September 11, 2019

    – [Narrator] Osaka is a port town and the second largest
    city in Japan after Tokyo. It has a lot in common
    with its Kanto neighbor but people here pride themselves in being a bit rough around the edges, more genuine and outgoing
    than their Tokyo counterparts. However, getting there can be a hassle and there’s more than a
    few means to get there. So to help you on your way, here are the cheapest and
    fastest ways from Tokyo to Osaka. If money isn’t an option, then you’re probably
    watching the wrong video but the Shinkansen is your fastest and most convenient way to Osaka by far. While it is the most
    expensive method on the list, you do have a few options
    depending on comfort and how fast you want to get there. The speediest bullet train is the Nozomi at about two hours and 30 minutes. The second fastest is the Hikari. It’ll save you about 310
    yen but will also add an extra 30 minutes or
    so to your travel time. The slowest is the Kodama at four hours but at a reasonable 10,300 yen. Tickets can be purchased
    at most major stations like Tokyo in Shinagawa. Also keep in mind that
    the Shinkansen only goes to Shin-Osaka station which
    is actually a few hops away from Osaka proper. There’s also an option for those not exactly in a hurry to get there. The Seishun 18 is a seasonal package consisting of five tickets
    for five non-consecutive days of unlimited travel for
    as little as 11,850 yen, in effect, making each day of
    travel cost just 2,370 yen. The catch is that these can only be used on local and rapid JR trains which makes for long journeys and complicated routes. But that can’t be all bad, right? I mean, it can’t be more
    than nine hours. (groans) flying into Osaka is also an option although it’s not the most convenient. You can find great budget airlines to Kansai International
    Airport like Vanilla Air for 4,631 yen, Peach for 4,441 yen, and Jet Star for 5,585 yen. But you do have to keep in mind the cost of getting
    from KIX to Osaka proper but you can check out our sister site, Japan Cheapo for tips on how to do that. Also worth a mention
    is Osaka Itami Airport. It’s closer to Osaka station
    making it more convenient but ticket prices tend to
    be about 5,000 more yen than flying to KIX. A trip by bus probably isn’t
    going to be your first choice but there are some great
    Cheopo picks that can get you to Osaka for as little as 2,000
    yen depending on the season and level of comfort
    you’re willing to pay for. At six to nine hours on the road, we definitely recommend
    splurging a little on comfort. Day buses tend to be slower due to traffic but a night bus departing
    as late as midnight can reach Osaka as early as dawn. Hey, if you like what you just watched, subscribe to our channel
    for more videos like them. For more tips and tricks on
    getting to Osaka from Tokyo, visit our article at



    September 11, 2019

    In my lifetime, I’ve never expected to be
    able to ride the Evangelion Shinkansen mostly because I thought the tickets were hard to
    get or rather since I heard about it so long ago, I thought it wasn’t even in service
    anymore. But it isn’t over, in fact, it is still
    in operation until Spring 2018. Now, The only way to ride the Eva Unit 01 Bullet
    Train is if you take any of the stops between Hakata and Shin-Osaka at certain times. Luckily for Vivienne and I, we happen to be
    in Hakata where the train makes it’s first operation of the day at 6:36AM. As a big Evangelion fan, especially the new
    movies, I was amazed with every aspect of the train. From the amazing paint job of the exterior
    to the original anime theme jingle they play at every stop. Exploring the train definitely kept me pre-occupied
    for a couple of hours, almost causing us to miss our stop at Hiroshima. Although our JR Rail Passes provided complementary
    seat reservations, we decided to sit non-reserved in Car No. 2 because it was the only one decorated
    with Eva-01 designs. Seats, Windows, Floors, and even trash bins
    were plastered with the NERV logo decal. The window blinds even had some easters eggs
    which we unfortunately didn’t get a chance to uncover or in this case, un-blind…? But Car No.1 is where the magic really happens. It has an exhibit where fans can enjoy shinkansen
    and the eva-01 miniature models on display. This one in particular really gives you an
    idea how big the eva one compared to a human. If you hadn’t notice yet, these figures
    on the bridge are the characters from the show. But the awesomeness doesn’t stop there,
    behind this Keep Out Curtain, contains a life-size cockpit riding experience! An attraction that allows one rider to experience
    the hands-on attraction. Unfortunately for us, those who are not residents of Japan cannot ride it 😔. The honor is given to those who live
    in Japan and participate in a lottery. However, it is open to the public for photo-op,
    you just can’t sit in it. Overall, the experience was definitely worthwhile. If you’re an evangelion fan who’s visiting in
    Japan with a JR Rail Pass, do yourself a favor and plan a trip from Shin-Osaka! It departs from that station at 11:32AM!

    10 amazing facts about the Japan’s bullet trains | Shinkansen
    Articles, Blog

    10 amazing facts about the Japan’s bullet trains | Shinkansen

    September 10, 2019

    It is 2esday again, time for your 2 minutes
    of Japan-related information. Today: Facts about the best train in the world,
    the Shinkansen. 1. The first Shinkansen was inaugurated on October
    1st 1964, just 10 days before the start of the Olympic games in Japan. Thanks to its original aerodynamic form, it
    was soon referred to as „bullet train“ in the west. 2. These first versions of the train reached
    top speeds of up to 210 kmh. Today, some trains operate at up to 320 kmh.
    3. Shinkansen are not pulled by a locomotive. Instead, each car has its own electric engine. 4. In 2016, the average delay from schedule per
    Shinkansen was 24 seconds. This includes delays caused by natural disasters,
    such as earthquakes. 5. There are many reasons for this astounding
    level of punctuality. Three major ones are: The Shinkansen’s rails
    are not shared with other, slower trains and the rails are optimized in a way that they
    have minimum curvature and inclination. This requires for the construction of a lot
    of bridges and tunnels. While driving, the speed is constantly adjusted
    to guarantee for an arrival exact to the tenth of a second. 6. Every Shinkansen stops for 12 minutes at its
    terminal stop. 5 of those minutes are for having customers
    exit and enter and the remaining 7 are for cleaning the whole train, including the toilets,
    emptying the dustbins, changing the seat covers and reversing the directions of all seats. 7. Every Shinkansen is inspected from the outside
    on every second day, as well as the overhead contact lines and brakes. Every month there’s a full checkup in which
    4 inspectors check every single screw of the train. Maybe not every screw, but it’s pretty detailed. And every six months the motor and low side
    cars are deconstructed, verified and put together again. Then the train is repainted. 8. There’s a yellow version of the Shinkansen
    called Doctor Yellow. It doesn’t seat any passengers, drives across
    the rails at a speed of 270km/h and measures any abnormalities, such as cracks in the rails. 9. If the seismometers of the railway company
    register shocks, they will send emergency signals to all affected Shinkansen, causing
    an emergency break. This also happened during the Tohoku earthquake
    in 2011: About 12 seconds before the earthquake reached them, all trains had been stopped. 10. Thanks to all of these security measures,
    In its more than 50 years of operation, there has not been a single fatality caused by a
    Shinkansen. There are actually so much more amazing things
    I could tell you about the Shinkansen. But for today, that’s it. If you have any topic you would like to see
    me cover in the future, please let me know in the comments below. For today, thank you for watching and see
    you next time.


    A travel by Shinkansen (bullet train) – MAXたにがわ号に乗ってみた

    September 8, 2019

    上毛高原、越後湯沢、長岡、終点新潟に止まります。 Maxたにがわ311号ガーラ湯沢行は1号車から8号車… お下がり下さい… 禁煙です。 Maxとき… はい。新潟行 ガーラ湯沢行 ドアが閉まります。 オーライ。 (車内チャイム) 本日もJR東日本をご利用下さいましてありがとうございます。 この電車は上越新幹線MAXたにがわ号ガーラ湯沢行とMAXとき­号新潟行です。 次は上野に止まります。 Ladies and Gentlemen.
    Welcome on board the Joetsu-Shinkansen. This is the MAX Tanigawa super-express bound for Gala Yuzawa, combined with MAX Toki super-express bound for Nigata. The next stop will be Ueno. Maxとき311号新潟行とMaxたにがわ311号ガーラ湯沢行が発車致します。 次は上毛高原に止まります。 黄色い線までお下がり下さい。 ドアが閉まります。ご注意ください。

    Epic Race! Chuggington Action Chugger and Shinkansen race for the fastest train in the world!
    Articles, Blog

    Epic Race! Chuggington Action Chugger and Shinkansen race for the fastest train in the world!

    September 6, 2019

    [Eric} Go! [Dad] oh! It’s head-to-head! TrainLab [Dad] Woah! What’s going on guys? [Eric] We’re having a race! [Dad] What kind of a race? [Eric] Do you see all the engines we have around? Those are the engines we’re going to be racing. And the Shinkansen! [Dad] And Action Chugger! Racing to see who really is the fastest train in the world. [Dad] And I’ve got Action Chugger ready to go over here. Okay ready, set… [Eric] GO! GO! Okay Action Chugger is off! [Dad] The Shinkansen? What’s going on with the Shinkansen? he’s paused. Oh,
    Action Chugger is catching up! He’s catching up! [Dad] Maybe Action Chugger is faster than Shinkansen… [Eric] The Shinkansen is still not being hit. [Dad] Yeah, but Action Chugger is going to catch him quick! Oh noooo! Ohhh! Action Chugger pushes the Shinkansen off the track. [Dad] And the first round goes to Action Chugger! [Dad] So, to even up the playing field, Shinkansen has a brand new set of batteries. He’s looking pretty fast… and Action Chugger is going to have his cars on. Oh look at that, Action Chugger is fairly slow now… But the Shinkansen is blazing fast! [Eric giggling] The Shinkansen has new batteries! [Dad] Look how fast that thing is! He’s definitely catching up! Oh my goodness, look at that he’s moving so quick! Oh he’s going to be right behind Action Chugger here! Oh! If he doesn’t… he almost derailed! Can he keep going? Oh no! He derailed! Quick! He needs to be fixed! Action Chugger is going to catch up. Quick! Quick! [Eric laughing] [Dad] Action Chugger is going to catch up! [Eric] Here! [Dad] Oh there we go! Whew! He’s back in action, and catching up! [Eric laughing!] Look at that! Shinkansen is looking like he’s having a bit of a malfunction. Oh! Oh! [Eric laughing!] He’s in his review lights! Oh he caught him! but can he be powerful enough to push Action Chugger? off the rail? I don’t know! [Eric] but he’s coming off the rail! [Dad] Yes he is coming off the rail… He’s fast but he’s light! That’s the problem… Oh! No! [Eric] Again! And Action Chugger wins the round. [Dad] Okay, looks like we have a modification to the track there… [Eric] That’s the finish line [Dad] Looks like we have a big long head-to-head track! Are you ready? [Eric] GO! oh no we have a malfunction at the start [Eric] Go! Look at that… look at that! The Shinkansen! [Eric] GO! Yes! The Shinkansen is the fastest train! [Eric] I wish Action Chugger was the fastest train. [Dad] Oh no! Let’s have another race, best out of three… Were you disappointed Action
    Chugger didn’t win? [Eric] so I’m going to make him go faster! How’s that? What are you gonna do? I’m going to make him go faster by putting new batteries [Dad] Ohhh… Even the score! Alright, let’s do it! [upbeat rock music] We’re going to have the full trains race head-to-head [Eric] Ready… Set… Go! It’s head-to-head! But the Shinkansen is moving ahead! And the Shinkansen wins! [Eric] And crashed! Crashed into the stop. [Dad] It’s the world champion… The Shinkansen train. Alright guys thanks for watching! [Eric] Thumbs up if you like this video! Don’t forget to subscribe! TrainLab

    Cute Japanese Shinkansen Bullet Train Stickers
    Articles, Blog

    Cute Japanese Shinkansen Bullet Train Stickers

    September 5, 2019

    How’s it going, guys? I got a set of really cool stickers as a gift,
    thought I’d open it up for you guys. It’s a train themed sticker set, featuring
    trains from the Shinkansen trains of Japan. It opens up like this. The stickers are here. There’s a lot of them. Oh yeah, and here. When you move the packaging up and down, you
    can see the holograms move. Very cool. Over at the back, there’s some writing in
    Japanese. When you move this up and down, you see the
    hologram lighting change also at the back. Very psychedelic. All right, now it’s time to open it. So these are the stickers. They’re attached to the cardboard by a piece
    of tape. The adhesive is a very nice thing that sticks
    to it without getting messy. The packet is resealable. Here’s the biggest one. It says Bullet Speed. And a train is coming out of that Bullet Speed
    logo. Very cool. Some of them are glittery types. Now if I tilt this, you will see the hologram
    making it shiny and glittery. It also has a very cool three dimensional
    effect. This one also has a cool glittery effect when
    I move it up and down under the light. This is it! The Shinkansen Train sticker set. Thank you for watching. Just wanted to show you guys this very cool
    sticker set that I got for the holidays.

    This Train Made Passengers Sick: The APT Tilting Train Story
    Articles, Blog

    This Train Made Passengers Sick: The APT Tilting Train Story

    September 5, 2019

    This video was made possible by SkillShare,
    home to over 28,000 classes that’ll teach you just about anything. In 1969, Britain set out to build a train
    unlike any other. A high speed train that wouldn’t need to
    run on a high speed railway. When everyone else was pouring billions into
    constructing new smooth and straight high-speed rail lines, the British would instead design
    a train that could reach incredible speeds on any kind of track. Even twisting and winding railways built a
    hundred years earlier. Because this train would lean into corners,
    like a motorcycle. And it promised to bring Britain’s antiquated
    railways into the 20st century. It’s smooth, quiet, and an altogether delightful
    experience. Everything that the developers and designers
    told me that the train should do, it does appear to do, and does it exceptionally well. This was going to be the Advanced Passenger
    Train, and in an era of automobiles and jet travel, it was going to save Britain’s railways. In the 1960’s, Britain’s railways were in
    trouble. After declining for decades, there were fewer
    people riding trains in 1965 than there were back in 1890. And rail lines around the country were shutting
    down. The problem was, Britain’s railways were
    slow and antiquated. Steam locomotives were still in use well into
    the1960’s. And that stood in contrast against the exciting
    freedom of automobiles and the speed and glamor of jet powered air travel. If British Rail was going to compete in this
    new era, they’d need much faster trains. Because elsewhere in the world, high speed
    rail was proving that it could win back passengers. Japan’s new Bullet Trains were an instant
    success, carrying over 100 million passengers in just the first three years of service. But high speed trains need special tracks. Long, straight sections of rail and gentle
    curves. And to get their bullet trains to work, the
    Japanese built an entirely new high-speed rail line, constructing thousands of bridges
    and tunneling right through mountains. For their TGV, the French would end up doing
    much the same, building hundreds of kilometers of high speed track. But in Britain, there wasn’t going to be any
    new railway. For one, the country already had a vast rail
    network. And with ridership declining, much of it was
    underutilized. So the British set out to engineer a new kind
    of high speed train, one that would run on Britain’s existing railways. But it wasn’t going to be easy. Britain’s 100 year old rail network was full
    of twists and turns, and a train can only round a bend so fast before the ride becomes
    uncomfortable. Because lateral forces can send items flying
    off tables, or even knock passengers off their feet. The Japanese and French built their new high
    speed railways with gentle, banked curves to minimize these lateral forces. But the British, would come up with a brilliant
    alternative. Instead of building tilted tracks, they’d
    engineer a tilting train. By leaning the rail cars into curves, like
    a motorcycle, lateral forces on passengers could be minimized, or even eliminated altogether. And British Rail would pioneer the world’s
    first active tilting system. Unlike earlier tilting suspensions, it would
    use computers and sensors to read forces, and hydraulic rams to actively tilt each rail
    car. It took British Rail nearly two decades to
    develop the technologies, but by 1979, they had built train unlike any in British history. It would be called the Advanced Passenger
    Train. Driven by eight traction motors housed in
    central power cars, the APT produced a total of 8000 horsepower, making it the most powerful
    domestic train to ever operate in Britain. With its advanced braking system, the APT
    could quickly decelerate from high speeds allowing it to work with Britain’s outdated
    signaling system. And with active tilting, it could round a
    bend nearly twice as fast as any British train. And during testing in 1979, the APT hit 261
    km/h, setting a new British speed record. One that would hold for another 23 years. Britain’s new train, was going to revolutionize
    its railways, and there were plans to build a fleet of over 50. But when the APT entered service as a prototype
    on December 7th 1981, almost overnight it went from being heralded as the train of the
    future, to the subject of intense media ridicule. The train was plagued by technical problems. Everything from frozen breaks to failed tilting
    mechanisms. And on the third day of service, one even
    broke down on the way from Glasgow to London. But most embarrassing, the tilt caused nearly
    a third of passengers to become motion sick. So bad were the problems, that after just
    a couple weeks, British Rail was forced to pull the APT from service. It would take another three years of development
    and testing just sort out all of the issues. In the meantime, British Rail tried to fight
    back against the negative press. Like in this promotional video featuring rattling
    dishes and a cup of coffee on the verge spilling. The conventional service from Glasgow to Houston
    is good. There’s not a patch on this. It’s smooth, quiet, and an altogether delightful
    experience. Everything that the developers and designers
    told me that the train should do, it does appear to do, and does it exceptionally well. But the press had already written the APT’s
    obituary. The train had been put into service before
    it was ready. Over 15 years and 50 million pounds had gone
    into development. But designing a 250 km/h train to run on an
    antiquated rail network proved too ambitious for British Rail. The APT was supposed to enter service as early
    as 1976, but with so many novel features needing development all at once, the program was difficult
    to manage. And it was plagued by technical hurdles, delays,
    and in some cases, complete redesigns. And the APT wasn’t adequately tested, moving
    from the experimental stage to a fully functional prototype after having run just 37 thousand
    kilometers. Meanwhile, in testing their TGV, the French
    racked up nearly a half a million kilometers. And even as the experimental APT was beginning
    to prove itself, many within British Rail were hostile towards the program, preferring
    conventional rail technologies over such a revolutionary leap. So British Rail split its resources and began
    developing a more conventional, and not quite as fast diesel train without active tilting. Throw in labor disputes, quality control issues,
    and wavering political support, and the entire program might’ve been doomed from the start. By 1980, Britain was in an economic recession. And with the APT program at risk of being
    cancelled altogether, the prototype trains were rushed into service. When it was reintroduced again three years
    later in 1984, the active tilt had been modified to reduce motion sickness and the trains proved
    reliable in service. But none of that mattered. Because the APT could never operate to its
    full potential, having to share tracks with slower trains and overhead electrical lines….that
    weren’t designed for higher speeds. The APT was held back by the very same outdated
    rail network that it was supposed to overcome. With little will to develop it any further,
    the APT was quietly removed from service in 1986. But there’s a final twist of irony in the
    APT’s story. Because in 1982, British Rail sold patents
    for its tilting technology to Italy’s Fiat, who were developing an active tilting train
    of their own. In 2002, Italian designed tilting trains were
    reintroduced to Britain’s railways. Today, they operate along the London to Glasgow
    route, which is the exact same route the APT was once supposed to serve. Starting this YouTube channel has been one
    of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. Not a day goes by where I don’t look forward
    to working on the next mustard video. Because I can’t think of anything more rewarding
    than doing something creative and sharing it with the world. If you’ve been thinking about starting your
    own channel, do it. Because the demand for high quality YouTube
    content is growing every day. But a lot goes into a making videos that people
    actually want to watch. So I’d start by learning directly from YouTube’s
    top creators. And SkillShare offers fantastic classes that
    will teach you everything you need to know… from how to pick the right topics, to research,
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    is you want to learn. And the best part? A premium subscription to SkillShare is less
    than $10 a month. But if you’re one of the first 500 people
    to sign up using the link in the description below, you get 2 months for absolutely free.

    Why This Train Is The Envy Of The World: The Shinkansen Story
    Articles, Blog

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

    September 5, 2019

    In 1964 Japan unveils the Shinkansen
    Bullet Train, and it has the Japanese glued to their televisions. As news
    helicopters filming the train struggle to keep up, cheers erupt in living rooms
    across the nation. The Shinkansen is a powerful symbol of Japan’s post-war
    recovery. But it’s also groundbreaking. Because at the dawn of the Jet Age, when
    air travel and cars seem destined to replace everything else, the lowly train
    is about to make a comeback. In the 19th century, the locomotive and
    steamship replaced the horse and sailing ship as the primary movers of humanity.
    In the 20th century, it seemed almost certain that the automobile and aircraft
    were going to do the same. Make earlier forms of transport largely irrelevant.
    Trains in particular were seen as obsolete. A slow and inconvenient way for
    people to travel. No match for the unfettered freedom of the personal
    automobile. In the 1950’s, the Americans were pouring billions into building
    Interstate highways and rail lines were shutting down. In Europe, railways were
    stagnating. Many countries were still operating steam locomotives. And it was
    in this context that Japan was blasting through mountains, drilling 67 miles of
    new tunnel, and constructing over 3,000 new bridges. All to build a railway. But
    this wasn’t going to be just any railway. This was one of the most ambitious rail
    projects of the century. The Japanese were calling it the Shinkansen, and the
    trains on this new line would run at speeds unmatched anywhere in the world.
    Nearly twice as fast as any existing train in Japan. And the new line would be
    dedicated only to high-speed trains, which meant they’d be able to travel at
    incredible speeds between Japan’s two biggest cities; Tokyo to Osaka. And to
    make such high speeds possible, the new line would be built using a wider gauge
    of rail. And it would be laid out with gentle curves, which meant tunneling
    through and bridging over much of Japan’s difficult terrain. But for all
    its ambition, many dismissed the Shinkansen as ridiculous. A senior railway
    executive described the project in 1964 as the ‘height of madness.’ The wider gauge
    of rail, which was necessary for such high speeds, made the Shinkansen incompatible with the rest of Japan’s rail network. Many questioned the value
    of a fast train, if it would be stuck running on a single line, and whether the effort
    involved in getting trains to reliably go this fast, was really worth it. But the
    criticisms weren’t just technical. This was one enormously expensive project.
    And to make matters worse, over five years of construction, the Shinkansen’s
    budget had spiraled out of control. Nearly doubling over the original
    estimate. And because of that, two visionaries leading the project, the President of
    Japanese National Railways and his Chief Engineer, both resigned before the
    project even finished. The media were calling it Japan’s Great Wall of China. A
    massive but ultimately misguided effort, when other countries were looking
    towards jets and automobiles as the future. But the critics would soon fall
    silent. When the first Shinkansen line opened in
    the fall of 1964, the world took note. Because it made cars on expressways look
    like they were standing still, and once profitable inter-city air routes were
    now being threatened by a train. In just the first three years of service,
    the Shinkansen carried over 100 million passengers. Demand skyrocketed. The
    new line not only better connected Japan’s two largest cities, it seemingly
    pulled them closer together. A Tokyo executive could now attend a meeting in
    Osaka more than 320 miles away, and still make
    it home in time for dinner. A combination of speed and frequent
    service made the world’s first high-speed railway enormously
    profitable. It turns out that the Shinkansen was anything but ridiculous. Because the
    project’s visionaries weren’t taking a gamble on some radical new technology.
    Instead, they adapted the very best proven technologies and brilliantly
    integrated them into one seamless system. A Shinkansen train’s
    streamlined shape and smooth outer surfaces minimized air resistance and
    noise at high speeds. There was no locomotive, not in the
    traditional sense. Instead motive-power was distributed with axles each driven
    by separate electric traction motors. The setup offered superior acceleration, and
    a train could operate even with multiple failed motors. It also meant more evenly
    distributed weight on tracks, which reduced wear. At 130 miles per hour, the
    new Shinkansen trains had the highest service speed in the world. And yet speed
    had never been the real motivation. This wasn’t some vanity project.
    the Shinkansen had always been about moving a large volume of passengers, so
    engineers designed the new line to withstand the stress of running 60
    high-speed trains in each direction every day. A number that would only
    increase through the years to hundreds today. To withstand the stresses, rail
    ties were made of pre-stressed concrete and rails, each normally 82 feet long,
    were welded into nearly 5,000 foot long continuous sections to reduce vibration
    and noise. Rail crossings were eliminated. Cars were routed either above or below
    the line to ensure safe and reliable service. Moving at over 190 feet per
    second, a Shinkansen conductor would have struggled to react in time to
    conventional wayside signals. The solution was Automatic Train Control, a
    system that sent signal information directly on board to the conductor,
    regulating speed based on a train’s position. The entire line was monitored
    by a centralized traffic control center in Tokyo, critical to the safe operation
    of a high volume of trains. And in one of the most earthquake-prone countries in
    the world, seismometers were installed along the line. The system
    would cut power at the first sign of earthquake, automatically activating a
    train’s emergency brakes. And to keep the track in tip-top shape, special
    diagnostic trains nicknamed the ‘Yellow Doctor’ regularly assessed the state of the
    track and overhead lines using sophisticated on-board monitoring
    equipment. The enormous success of the first Shinkansen line spurred its
    extension westward, and over the course of the next half century, new lines would
    be built to reach nearly every corner of the nation. The opening of the world’s
    first high-speed railway in 1964 had a profound impact on Japan. But it also
    changed the way the world saw railways. In no small part, the success of the
    Japanese helped inspire other countries to develop their own high-speed networks
    like France’s TGV, which began service in the early 1980’s. Over the past 50 years
    speeds on shangkun’s and lines have continued to increase, made possible by
    new track technologies and successive generations of trains. Shinkansen trains
    on newer lines now regularly hit 198 miles per hour. While Shinkansen trains
    are no longer the fastest in the world, focusing on speed alone misses the point.
    No other rail system in the world can match the Shinkansen for it’s incredible
    efficiency, safety and punctuality. Today, the Shinkansen moves over 1 million
    people every single day. During peak periods, one departs Tokyo every three
    minutes. And since 1964, the Shinkansen has maintained a pristine safety
    record, moving over 10 billion people without a single passenger casualty. It’s
    punctuality is the envy of the world, with average delays measured in just
    seconds. And for the visionaries who forged ahead with getting the first
    Shinkansen line built, over half a century ago, they were ultimately
    vindicated for creating the world’s most renowned high-speed rail network, and for
    introducing modern high-speed rail to the world. Japan’s Bullet Trains run on their own
    dedicated tracks. But if a Bullet Train traveling at 137 miles per hour were to
    approach a much slower train, one struggling just to maintain 54 miles per
    hour, and it takes 7.5 seconds for the bullet train to overtake the slower
    train, well then you should be able to figure out what the length of the bullet
    train is (in feet). The first viewer to post the correct answer in the comments
    gets a free t-shirt from the Mustard store. It’s one thing to know basic math
    concepts and another to have an intuitive ability to solve actual
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