22 Facts About Shinkansen


Original Tokaido Shinkansen, connecting Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka, three of Japan's largest cities, is one of the world's busiest high-speed rail lines.

FactSnippet No. 639,486

Furthermore, the name superexpress, used exclusively until 1972 for Hikari trains on the Tokaido Shinkansen, is used today in English-language announcements and signage.

FactSnippet No. 639,487

The cost of constructing the Shinkansen was at first estimated at nearly 200 billion yen, which was raised in the form of a government loan, railway bonds and a low-interest loan of US$80 million from the World Bank.

FactSnippet No. 639,488

Tokaido Shinkansen began service on 1 October 1964, in time for the first Tokyo Olympics.

FactSnippet No. 639,489

The conventional Limited Express service took six hours and 40 minutes from Tokyo to Osaka, but the Shinkansen made the trip in just four hours, shortened to three hours and ten minutes by 1965.

FactSnippet No. 639,490

Shinkansen routes are completely separate from conventional rail lines .

FactSnippet No. 639,491

However, the smaller diameter of Shinkansen tunnels, compared to some other high-speed lines, has resulted in the issue of tunnel boom becoming a concern for residents living close to tunnel portals.

FactSnippet No. 639,492

Shinkansen employs an ATC system, eliminating the need for trackside signals.

FactSnippet No. 639,493

Shinkansen trains are electric multiple units, offering fast acceleration, deceleration and reduced damage to the track because of the use of lighter vehicles compared to locomotives or power cars.

FactSnippet No. 639,494

Shinkansen has used the electric multiple unit configuration from the outset, with the 0 Series Shinkansen having all axles powered.

FactSnippet No. 639,495

Shinkansen lines have more stops in proportion to their lengths than high-speed lines elsewhere in the world.

FactSnippet No. 639,496

Tokaido Shinkansen tracks are not physically connected to the lines of the Tohoku Shinkansen at Tokyo Station, as they are operated by separate companies and have separate platforms.

FactSnippet No. 639,497

Many Shinkansen lines were proposed during the boom of the early 1970s but have yet to be constructed and have subsequently been shelved indefinitely.

FactSnippet No. 639,498

Shinkansen is very reliable thanks to several factors, including its near-total separation from slower traffic.

FactSnippet No. 639,499

Shinkansen has had a significant beneficial effect on Japan's business, economy, society, environment and culture beyond mere construction and operational contributions.

FactSnippet No. 639,500

However, upon the introduction of the 1973 Basic Plan the initial prudence in developing Shinkansen lines gave way to political considerations to extend the mode to far less populated regions of the country, partly to spread these benefits beyond the key centres of Kanto and Kinki.

FactSnippet No. 639,501

UCLA study found that the presence of a Shinkansen line had helped with housing affordability by making it more realistic for lower-income city workers to live in exurban areas much further away from the city, which tends to have cheaper housing options.

FactSnippet No. 639,502

Hokuriku Shinkansen is being extended from Kanazawa to Tsuruga at an estimated cost of 3.

FactSnippet No. 639,503

Shinkansen line shortens the distance between Hakata and Nagasaki by 6.

FactSnippet No. 639,504

CEO of JR Central originally announced plans to have the maglev Chuo Shinkansen operating from Tokyo to Nagoya by 2027, with a subsequent extension to Osaka by 2037.

FactSnippet No. 639,505

Currently the Tokaido Shinkansen has a minimum connection time of 2 hours 19 minutes.

FactSnippet No. 639,506

New "full standard" Shinkansen line is under construction from Takeo Onsen to Nagasaki, with the Shin-Tosu – Takeo Onsen section of the Kyushu Shinkansen branch to remain narrow gauge.

FactSnippet No. 639,507