Why This Train Is The Envy Of The World: The Shinkansen Story

  • Published: 23 November 2018
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    In 1964, Japan unveiled the Shinkansen - a new high speed railway connecting the country’s two largest cities (in the 1960's), Tokyo and Osaka. Travelling at speeds in excess of 120 mph (200 km/h), the new specially designed Shinkansen trains had the highest service speeds in the world.

    But the Shinkansen project’s success had been anything but assured. Over five years of construction, the cost of building the Shinkansen had ballooned, nearly doubling over the original estimate to nearly ¥400 Billion. Vocal critics within Japan dismissed the Shinkansen project as destined for failure. Only a year before the new line opened, the director-general of the Japanese National Railways Construction Department described it as the “height of madness”. In particular, he criticized the decision to use a wider gauge track (standard gauge), which would make the Shinkansen incompatible with the rest of Japan’s narrow gauge network.

    Outside of Japan, observers looked on with a mixture of curiosity and skepticism. The 1960’s was the age of the jet airliner and automobile. Many countries in the west were focusing on infrastructure projects to accommodate the enormous growth of both these forms of transportation. The United States in particular, was pouring billions of dollars into building new interstate highways and country’s rail network was actually shrinking. Railways were seen as simply too slow and inconvenient to compete with automobiles and aircraft. Many predicted that passenger trains would be extinct or near-extinct by the end of the 20th century.

    But the opening of the Shinkansen changed the way the world viewed railways. The Shinkansen demonstrated that trains were capable of being the fastest mode of travel for intercity trips (faster than automobile and air travel). The Shinkansen was the fastest way to travel the 320 miles (515 km) distance from Tokyo to Osaka when total door-door travel times were taken into account. Within just the first 3 years, the Shinkansen carried more than 100 million passengers.

    The Japanese helped inspire other countries to develop their own high speed networks, like France’s TGV which entered service in the early 1980's. The enormous success of the original Shinkansen line spurred the construction of new Shinkansen lines westward. Over the course of the next half century, the network would be expanded to reach nearly every corner of Japan.

    #Trains #BulletTrain #Shinkansen

    Select footage courtesy the AP Archive
    AP Archive website: aparchive.com
    Twitter: twitter.com/AP_Archive Facebook: facebook.com/APArchives
    YouTube: office-2016.info/video/britishmovi/video.htmletone

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    Music (reproduced under license):

    Intro: "Soft Epic" - audiojungle.net/item/beautiful-nature/21355645
    Main Song 1: " Science Of Dreams " - audiojungle.net/item/science-of-dreams/20473699
    Main Song 2: “Black Heat” - office-2016.info/user/watch?v=_U4SkYJZjdI
    Main Song 3: “80s” - pond5.com/stock-music/88808404/80s.html
    Main Song 4: “1980s Vintage Synth” - pond5.com/stock-music/66351372/1980s-vintage-synth-tron-stranger-things-retro.html
    Main Song 5: “Calculations” - audiojungle.net/item/calculations/22099093
    Main Song 6: “Electro Swing French Jazz” - audiojungle.net/item/electro-swing-french-jazz/21321269

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Comments • 6 621

  • John Possas
    John Possas  36 minutes back

    Max delay is 7 seconds, i was in japan 6 weeks ago, i was there for 16 days, traveled on the shinkansen all over japan, all i can say is omg,,,,, efficient, punctual, clean, nobody can beat japanese nor come remotely close to japanese efficiency, no one, to the people of japan i say,,,, arigato kozaimas,,,,,,,,

    • Fukuokasimin Channel
      Fukuokasimin Channel  3 hours back


      • Narin Gamalo
        Narin Gamalo  7 hours back

        I felt discomforted when you said "Shinkanzen" instead of Shinkansen

        • A B
          A B  1 days back

          It's a GTR on rail tracks

          • Horowitz Vladimir
            Horowitz Vladimir  2 days back

            2:07 it is not sea of japan, it’s east sea

            • tomo guzzi
              tomo guzzi  2 days back


              • Badar Ahd Supian
                Badar Ahd Supian  2 days back

                watching this on hayabusa shinkansen

                • Rapid Tanu2
                  Rapid Tanu2  2 days back

                  im surprised when i know other many counties dont have shinkansen. shinkansen is our usual way of travel.

                  • o hgdrtgrlu
                    o hgdrtgrlu  10 hours back

                    You invented it. Still it becomes more and more common. Even Turkey and Morocco have HSR now. That in Morocco even reaches 300kph+

                • 액트오브밸러
                  액트오브밸러  2 days back

                  1989년... 88열차라는 이름으로 저 신칸센 열차와 똑같은 모습의 전동열차 장난감과 8자형 레일을 선물받아서 놀았던 기억이 나는군요...

                  • mike rockfort
                    mike rockfort  2 days back

                    keep the sheep close

                    • Vesna Morvajic
                      Vesna Morvajic  3 days back

                      In germany when you go from Munic to Berlin and start 2019 you will be there in the year 3455

                      • Jisandong-Tiger
                        Jisandong-Tiger  3 days back

                        there is no “Sea of Japan”
                        it is “East Sea”

                        • A B
                          A B  1 days back

                          It's called Sea of Japan in Japan and East Sea in Korea. That's politics

                      • yamatomirai
                        yamatomirai  3 days back

                        I was surprised how this TV collected such precious videos... There are so many videos which I never seen even I'm from Japan... Jeez, I appreciate you uploaded this video. This would be tremendously important video for Japanese.

                        • M. Zhou
                          M. Zhou  3 days back

                          Nobody talks about the South Manchuria Railway Company. Japanese gained modern railway and high speed locomotives experience from this state company in Manchuria. The Shinkansen designers are from this very company. Also the legacy of this company shaped the entire Chinese modern railway system.

                          • Teo Kim
                            Teo Kim  3 days back

                            7:40 no sea of japan it's east sea. You could fix it

                            • awsmedude360 #awsmeman360

                              The answer is 13

                              • Jack Sroka
                                Jack Sroka  4 days back

                                And that is why I will never buy an American made vehicle, Japanese ones are meant to last.

                                • 퐈악쥔여엉
                                  퐈악쥔여엉  4 days back

                                  7:40 no sea of japan it's east sea

                                  • 김새우
                                    김새우  4 days back

                                    그치만 조온나 비쌈^^
                                    주요도시끼니 가는거고 짐많은거 아님 차라리 피치항공타고 가고말지
                                    풉ㅋ 신칸센이요? 피.치.항.공.!!!

                                    • 착한너굴이
                                      착한너굴이  4 days back

                                      7:40 Not sea of japan it is East sea

                                      • MINOXIDIL EXPRESS
                                        MINOXIDIL EXPRESS  4 days back

                                        In my native country train delays are calculated by calender and it is not normal to arrive on time.

                                        • kazuyanomago
                                          kazuyanomago  5 days back


                                          • GEO
                                            GEO  5 days back

                                            5:06 The sea is not the Sea of Japan.
                                            South Korea's East sea
                                            And Dokdo is not a Takeshima.

                                            Dokdo is its sovereign territory of the Republic of Korea.Please correct it

                                          • 陈思苦
                                            陈思苦  5 days back


                                            • yun yong
                                              yun yong  5 days back


                                              • Steven Homan
                                                Steven Homan  5 days back

                                                Mate, the world uses metric measurements. What the hell is a foot. Highly egocentric question.

                                                • Steven Homan
                                                  Steven Homan  5 days back

                                                  Trains still remain our most responsible and reliable method of moving heavy freight. Not always people, but they're good at that too.

                                                  • Ultrakillerism
                                                    Ultrakillerism  5 days back

                                                    USA: Planes and cars are the future of travel. Trains are slow and obsolete
                                                    JAPAN: Hold my sake, baka gaijin

                                                    • A B
                                                      A B  1 days back

                                                      😂 yeah our bullet trains are fast though they're not as fast as planes and sports cars. Btw we consume more beers than sake

                                                  • Shiro Lee
                                                    Shiro Lee  5 days back

                                                    "average delays measured in seconds"

                                                    The US doesn't even have trains...

                                                    • Bugattifan 099
                                                      Bugattifan 099  4 days back

                                                      Wait... forgot one...

                                                      *Amtrak Acela*
                                                      (America’s high speed train)

                                                    • Austin
                                                      Austin  4 days back


                                                    • Bugattifan 099
                                                      Bugattifan 099  4 days back

                                                      *This Boi* “The US doesn’t have any trains...”

                                                      *Amtrak, Union Pacific, BNSF, Norfolk and Southern, etc* (Angry Train Noises)

                                                  • Valentyn Solomko
                                                    Valentyn Solomko  6 days back


                                                    • Anand Singh
                                                      Anand Singh  6 days back

                                                      approx 1095 feet long

                                                      • nimal jacob
                                                        nimal jacob  7 days back

                                                        How did you made those train footage?

                                                        • jaesi
                                                          jaesi  1 weeks back

                                                          Open in 1964 damn USA really is behind

                                                          • L.A. Chacin
                                                            L.A. Chacin  1 weeks back


                                                            • amogh gudekar
                                                              amogh gudekar  1 weeks back

                                                              What is answer?

                                                              • Ali Hamdani
                                                                Ali Hamdani  1 weeks back

                                                                anyway the pronounciation is more like "Shing kan seng" instead of "Shin kan zen"

                                                                • r3conwoo
                                                                  r3conwoo  1 weeks back

                                                                  Where I live in Texas trains are pretty useless for passenger traveling. I looked into going to from Dallas to Denver on the Amtrak train and it was like a 7 day journey that went through NM, AZ, NV, CA, UT, then finally to CO after taking a bus to another train station to take a different train. Like wtf.. Traveling by train in the US sucks ass

                                                                  • F&N Sarsi Sugar Free
                                                                    F&N Sarsi Sugar Free  1 weeks back

                                                                    Pls change the "Sea of Japan" label to East Sea or label both, "Sea of Japan" label was made public during the imperialist Japan era where it exploited Asian countries, colonising nations and brutally murdering 5 times innocent people the Jews Hitler killed

                                                                    • 한강희
                                                                      한강희  2 weeks back

                                                                      7:00 No sea of Japan
                                                                      According to true history there is 'East sea'.

                                                                      • ReCap
                                                                        ReCap  2 weeks back

                                                                        Here in Philippines the trains are not even moving wth...😂😂

                                                                        • 3131Bubba1313
                                                                          3131Bubba1313  2 weeks back

                                                                          Alright everyone, what’s going to be the two primary choices of transportation for the 21st century?

                                                                          • Boray Filizer
                                                                            Boray Filizer  2 weeks back

                                                                            304 yards and 1 foot long = 278 m 28 cm

                                                                            • Michi L.
                                                                              Michi L.  2 weeks back


                                                                              • Anatoly Macapagal
                                                                                Anatoly Macapagal  2 weeks back

                                                                                1:23 took me embarrassingly long to make sense of the map

                                                                                • Area51UFOGynaecology
                                                                                  Area51UFOGynaecology  2 weeks back

                                                                                  very cool

                                                                                  • justandy333
                                                                                    justandy333  2 weeks back

                                                                                    That has got to be the best, I mean the BEST advert for brilliant I've ever seen. Its the whole bathtub being filled with the plug out, how long till it overflows or empties? scenario. But its been made so much more relevant and interesting. Thats the key. Make it relevant. Seriously who gives a toss how slowly a bath drains. Its Boring! Mustard What ever brilliant paid you for this episode it wasn't enough! Good job.

                                                                                    • テスラコイル
                                                                                      テスラコイル  2 weeks back

                                                                                      シンカンゼン が気になりすぎて夜も起きれない。

                                                                                      • melskunk
                                                                                        melskunk  2 weeks back

                                                                                        Local Japanese airlines are even offering new deals for intercity flights to try and compete with the Shinkansen, even now