A train like a bullet: the ShinkansenIn 1964, the first Shinkansen commenced operations linking within three hours and ten minutes the countries’ two populous regions Kanto and Kansai. Nowadays, the fastest Tokaido Shinkansen merely needs two hours and 21 minutes and runs almost as precise as the clockwork.
The total network has six more lines beside the Tokaido. The latest line opening was the Hokkaido Shinkansen in 2016, although its construction is still in progress until March 2031. The other oncoming additions to the high-speed railway network will be the West Kyushu Route of the Kyushu Shinkansen by March 2023 and an extension of the Hokuriku Shinkansen by March 2024.
The suppliers of the respective Shinkansen trains are domestic rolling stock manufacturers - Nippon Sharyo, Hitachi, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, The Kinki Sharyo, or Japan Transport Engineering Company. Some of their high-speed models also serve on regional express railways. Hence, these lines carry the name Shinkansen although they formally do not count as one with top operating speeds below 200 kilometers per hour.