Shinkansen: Introducing The Five Fastest Regular Super Express Trains In Japan

(Shinkansen fan video by Onemanman)

Really fast train transit started in Japan October 1, 1964 with the 0 "bullet train" Shinkansen between Tokyo and Osaka. Built with domestic technology and a small (but important) US$80 million loan from the World Bank, the country's engineers at Hitachi and Kawasaki went on to construct the world's best super express railway network, with domestic technology and innovative solutions. Below the fold, we introduce the five fastest trains currently up and running:

shinkansen train japan 500 photo

(Photo: Kaz-T's blog)

Model 500: Top speed 300 km/h (186 mph), 1,324 seats, 64 engines

shinkansen train japan 700 photo

(Photo: Kaz-T's blog)

Model 700: Top speed 285 km/h (178 mph), 1,324 seats, 48 engines

shinkansen train japan e2 photo


Model E2: Top speed 275 km/h (171 mph), 630 seats, 24-32 engines

shinkansen train japan e3 photo

(Photo: Kaz-T's blog)

Model E3: Top speed 275 km/h (171 mph), 270 seats, 16-20 engines

shinkansen train japan 300 photo


Model 300: Top speed 270 km/h (169 mph), 1,323 seats, 40 engines

All are electrical, obviously. The 500 Series trains are quite amazing to watch and ride. All sixteen cars in each train are powered, giving a maximum of 18.24 MW of power (25,000 hp). They are designed with a long, pointed nose more like that of a supersonic plane than a conventional high speed train. In 1990, Hitachi commissioned Neumeister Design of Germany to create the exterior and interior design which was used as the basis for the development of the 500 Series. The futuristic fleet of nine 500 Series sets started operating in 1998 - my favourite!

With a speed like that, you could travel between New York and Los Angeles by train in little over 15 hours...

More on Trains:
Project Transit: Restoring the Romance of Public Transportation
Trainspotting: New Subway Line Opens In Tokyo
MagLev Trains by 2025 In Japan
High-Speed Trains Coming To California

Brought to you by Martin Frid at

Related Content on