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Future Shinkansen Planning

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Future Shinkansen Planning is as follows.
Noise pollution concerns mean that increasing speed is becoming more difficult. Current research is primarily aimed at reducing operational noise, particularly the "tunnel boom" phenomenon caused when trains exit tunnels at high speed.

(Mt. Fuji / Cherry Blossoms / Shinkansen)

JR East has announced that new trains capable of up to 320 km/h (199 mph) are to be introduced coinciding with the opening of the Tōhoku Shinkansen extension from Hachinohe to Shin-Aomori in early 2011. Extensive trials using the Fastech 360 test trains has shown that operation at 360 km/h (224 mph) is not currently feasible due to problems of noise pollution, overhead wire wear, and braking distances. This may indicate the limits to railed Shinkansen technology, and eventually maglev or another technology will need to replace it. Operation at speeds of up to 320 km/h between Utsunomiya and Shin-Aomori is expected to allow journey times of around 3 hours for trains from Tokyo to Shin-Aomori (a distance of approximately 675 km (419 mi)).

(Shinkansen 500 Series)

The Kyūshū Shinkansen from Kagoshima to Yatsushiro opened in March 2004. Three more extensions are planned for opening by 2010: Hakata-Yatsushiro, Hachinohe-Aomori, and by 2014: Nagano-Kanazawa, and 2015: Aomori-Hakodate (through the Seikan Tunnel). There are also long-term plans to extend the network, Hokkaidō Shinkansen from Hakodate to Sapporo, Kyūshū Shinkansen to Nagasaki, as well as to complete a link from Kanazawa back to Osaka, although none of these are likely to be completed by 2020. Also, the CEO of JR Central announced plans to have the maglev Chūō Shinkansen operating Tokyo—Nagoya in 1 hr (366 km/227 mi) by 2025.

(Shinkansen 500 Series)

The Narita Shinkansen project to connect Tokyo to Narita International Airport, initiated in the 1970s but halted in 1983 after landowner protests, has been officially cancelled and removed from the Basic Plan governing Shinkansen construction. Parts of its planned right-of-way will be utilized by the Narita Rapid Railway link when it opens in 2010. Although the NRR will use standard-gauge track, it will not be built to Shinkansen specifications and it would not be feasible to convert it into a full Shinkansen line.

Shinkansen technology outside Japan
Railways using Shinkansen technology are not limited to those in Japan.
Taiwan High Speed Rail operates 700T Series sets built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries.
The China Railways CRH2 EMU, built by a consortium formed of Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, and Hitachi, is based on the E2-1000 Series design.
Class 395 EMUs were built by Hitachi based on Shinkansen technology for use on high-speed commuter services in Britain on the High Speed 1 line.

(Shinkansen exported to Taiwan)

(Shinkansen exported to China)

Japan is currently promoting its Shinkansen technology to the Government of Brazil
for use on the planned high speed rail link system set to link Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Campinas. On November 14, 2008, Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva talked about this rail project. President Lula asked a consortium of Japanese companies to participate in the bidding process. Prime Minister Aso concurred on the bilateral cooperation to improve rail infrastructure in Brazil, including the Rio-São Paulo-Campinas high-speed rail line. The Japanese consortium led by Mitsui & Co., one of the largest sogo shosha, will bid for the project.
The U.S. Federal Railroad Administration is in talks with a number of countries with high speed rail, notably Japan, France and Spain. On May 16, 2009, FRA Deputy Chief Karen Rae expressed hope that Japan would offer its technical expertise to the United States. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood indicated interest in test riding the Japanese Shinkansen in 2009.

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By T.S. on Jun 22, 2009
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Author:T. SATOH