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Bullet train starts running at 320 kph on Tohoku Shinkansen route

46 Comments

Hundreds of train enthusiasts packed Tokyo station on Saturday morning to see the inaugural high-speed service of JR East's new E5 series Hayabusa bullet train.

JR East says the train, with a distinctive long green nose, can reach a speed of 320 kilometers per hour. It will run on the Tohoku Shinkansen line, connecting Tokyo with Shin-Aomori in 2 hours, 59 minutes.

JR East said the top speed of 320 kph is the fastest for any shinkansen train in Japan.

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46 Comments
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Oh yeah. I think this new one is red, and that's why it's faster (^_^)

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Nope the red one is the new Super Komachi E6 which runs on the Akita Shinkansen line, at a measly 300 km/hr. But will have a top speed of 320 from next year.

Trains yeah.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In more train talk, I'd just like to add that for anyone taking the Joetsu Shinkansen up to Niigata etc, note that this train (E4 series) has two decks and that you can't see much scenery from the bottom floor! It's quite low and all you can see is the concrete wall basically, there for safety/noise control. I ended up standing in the doorway between decks for much of the trip before finally helping myself to one of the empty seats up on the second deck.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Daijoboots Yes, I took one of those skiing last month. Couldn't see a thing out the window. Good thing I wasn't a tourist/sightseer, or I would have asked for my money back!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

sounds interesting, is it fastest in the world?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

sounds interesting, is it fastest in the world?

world? it's not fastest in Asia even.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Good thing I wasn't a tourist/sightseer, or I would have asked for my money back!

Yeah I asked for a window seat, thinking it was obvious I wanted to see the scenery flying past, but I should have been more specific.

People have been warned! The lower deck on the E4 is boredom on a stick. I wonder if there is a price difference between the decks, I doubt it, but it's a different world up there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

sounds interesting, is it fastest in the world?

I'm more interested in the train service that has the fastest average speed - some trains have high top speeds but rarely hit it.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Apparently the top speed of 320 is the same as the French TGV.

Only three E5s per day will make the Tokyo-ShinAomori dash in under 3 hours (others will take slightly longer).

Train choo choo.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sounds great !!!!! But I like Watching Everything Going By. A little Quick for that, But Heading up in time to now . This is a great achievement hope it stays on its track and dont try to fly. Top score for speed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This has been running already for about a year. How is it inaugural?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

takachan - It's official now.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So many choices for train enthusiasts today - Shibuya, or this? Or both?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Today was the first time the train had reached its top speed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Takachan - your confusion is understandable. I didn't know that this service had been running until the moderator made a note on your comment. The article itself is a bit unclear.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

TGV been running 350 kph for the last 30 years. Big deal

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

Incorrect. TGV runs at 320 kph.

OK - it may not be as fast as the mega-slick Euro or Chinese trains - but this Shink is- as they say in JapaneseーEnglish - a "safety train" where accidents are almost impossible. I'm looking forward to riding the new red rocket when it comes out, looks way racier than the green one!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@humanrights

TGV been running 350 kph for the last 30 years.

Very true. But you can hardly expect an English gentleman like myself to travel on a train surrounded by those people.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

TGV been running 350 kph for the last 30 years.

Nope. The TGV runs at 320 km/hr on a couple of lines.

China's fastest train had been operating at up to 350 km/hr, but that has since been reduced to 300 km/hr due to the accident a couple of years back.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I'm looking forward to riding the new red rocket when it comes out, looks way racier than the green one!

It started today! Apparently the red is associated with namahage and the Kanto festival in summer, and the golden yellow seats with grains of rice.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In terms of operational speed or average speed there is not much of a difference whether it be TGV which is too heavy or the Chinese which figures are fudged.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The fastest one I have ever taken is about 307 km per hour

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I love train. I love bullet train. But why are they more expensive than low cost airplane carriers? A big shame.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You Asian folk just have to "Google" what the U.S. calls "bullet trains" What a backwards bunch of blowhards they are! Antique Diesels (2 stroke engines.) smoking like olden days steam engines, straining to make 70 Mph - (Mph - another American anachronism). Hard to believe!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It's a jolly day for the densha otaku~March 16

1 ( +1 / -0 )

One day the trains might make it to the United States as an option to car travel

2 ( +2 / -0 )

it is surely the fastest in Asia and in the world, that hasn't killed any passenger yet.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

You Asian folk just have to "Google" what the U.S. calls "bullet trains" What a backwards bunch of blowhards they are!

Reality check: The US has the world's most sophisticated and efficient freight rail network.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

TGV which is too heavy

Rationality check: If the TGV has been the fastest train in the world for so long, how can it be "too heavy"?!?

But also as a counterpoint, the TGV's track is much simpler and cost efficient than the Shinkansen's, not much different than regular track. For the Shinkansen to do what the TGV an do, the Shinkansen needs to have its own special heavy duty, elaborate, expensive and labor-intensive track.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

JeffLee

TGV's acceleration rate is the worst of all HSR because TGVs utilize a push pull system in which the axle load is the most heaviest. As for tracks it also makes the Shinkansen the most safest and reliable HSR in the world.

Capisci?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Capisci?"

No, I dont: From Wiki: "A TGV service held the record for the fastest scheduled rail journey with a start to stop average speed of 279.4 km/h, which was temporarily surpassed by the Chinese CRH service Harmony express on the WuhanGuangzhou High-Speed Railway from December 2009 until July 2011.

Worst acceleration, eh? And the FASTEST average journey speed? Well....ok.

"It also makes the Shinkansen the most safest and reliable HSR in the world."

So what? TGV has never suffered serious injuries or deaths on its dedicated high-speed lines. A risk analysis (as opposed to the nationalistic rantings one often hears in Japan) would show an exceptional safety record with only negligible differences vis a vis the shinkansen.

Wasn't a Shinkansen derailed by snow a couple of weeks ago?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

JeffLee

Worst acceleration, eh? And the FASTEST average journey speed? Well....ok.

This is also easy, there are very little intermediate stops between start and destination. As for TGV unfortunately, no they had several accidents that resulted in fatality and/or injury.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TGV#Accidents

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Thanks for the link, Samurai:

Here's what it says: "In almost three decades of high-speed operation, the TGV has not recorded a single fatality due to accident while running at high speed."

The only serious accidents have been on regular mixed-traffic lines, which Shinkansen can't run on anyway, so it's a bogus comparison. Put a Shinkansen on the regular Chuo Line and see what happens.

-6 ( +1 / -6 )

TGV top speed is actually 574.8 KPH as a record. Usual travel speed is around 300 KPH. Whichever close, its been for 30 years. No big deal like I said.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

JeffLee

Put a Shinkansen on the regular Chuo Line and see what happens.

You can't since the gauge is different.

@humanrights

TGV's 574.8Km/h was a specialized version and the tracks were modified as well. Normal TGVs can never obtain that kind of speed.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The term Bullet Train is hopelessly outdated. Why not call it the Super Express?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The point of the article as it says that this JPs train can reach a speed of 320, I am sure it will never do while passengers are on board. It is nothing amazing about it, as the TGV can reach faster speed and for the last 30 years. German trains even go faster and so do Chinese. So whats the point of this article??

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

"The point of the article as it says that this JPs train can reach a speed of 320, I am sure it will never do while passengers are on board. It is nothing amazing about it, as the TGV can reach faster speed and for the last 30 years. German trains even go faster and so do Chinese. So whats the point of this article??"

Let's set the record straight, shall we?

http://newsonjapan.com/html/newsdesk/article/101498.php

"Hayabusa bullet trains began running Saturday at a new top speed of 320 kph on the Tohoku Shinkansen Line, equalling France's TGV as the world's fastest train in operation. "

1 ( +2 / -1 )

humanrights :

It is nothing amazing about it, as the TGV can reach faster speed

The Shinkansen is the fastest system that has not killed any passengers yet. Trust me, it could go MUCH faster, if the regulations would be like in China, where killing tens of people is quite acceptable (just bury it underground after the fact, and hope everybody conveniently forgets about it).

It could go much faster than the TGV as well, if there would not be the risk of earthquakes striking at any time. That no one was killed in a Shinkansen after the big one that hit here 2 years ago is a proof of its technical abilities. The TGV does not have to worry about such details, and it only can go 270 in average.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I had relatives in Buffalo and traveled frequently from New York via Amtrak. There were many a winter voyage to Buffalo where I froze my ass off, because the doors to the train did not close all the way and there were piles of snow in the train. The train would take as long as driving to Buffalo, 8 hours, but I liked it cause I could walk around and relax on the way. We may have an efficient rail system; although, Amtrak does not own the rail lines it travels on and gets bumbed due to rail traffic, it takes hours and days to get anywhere. We are at the mercy of the Airline industry. It takes hours to go from the East coast to the West Coast by air,it would takes a week by Amtrak. I recently went to Chicago via Amtrak and took 26 hours to get there via the nothern route, going back was even worse via the southern route.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

JR caps a 25% speed buffer to ensure safety. Through calculations Hayabusa could theoretically reach 400~426 Km/h.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@JeffLee- haha, do you just come here to be difficult?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@theResident

do you just come here to be difficult?

If correcting false information, which has more to do with nationalist hubris than the truth, posted on this forum is being "difficult," sure, why not? Why do you come here?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The information in the story is not false.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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