English 46

High Speed Trains

Did you know that Japan has some of the fastest trains in the world? These trains, known as “bullet trains” or Shinkansen often travel1 up to 125 miles per hour, and sometimes even faster. Test runs routinely2 reach nearly 300 miles per hour, and one train reached 361 miles per hour, a world record being set by it.3

The first high-speed train was developed in the 1950s by4 Odakyu Electric Railway in Tokyo in response to passenger demand for increased access to rail travel. Because the old railway lines ran through indirect routes that included mountainous terrain and could not5 be adapted for high-speed travel. It was nevertheless6 necessary to build entirely new, specialized tracks.

Some of the first high-speed trains ran between the Japanese cities of Tokyo and Osaka, where the vast majority of them7 lived. Because of the extreme population density, the cost of building new highways would have been preventatively steep. [8]

Once the high-speed trains were built, they immediately9 gained instantaneous popularity. Today, the Tokyo-Osaka route remains one of the most highest10 traveled in the world, bringing service to nearly 70 million people.

Although the short-term costs of developing such trains may be high, they have many long-term benefits. While they can only travel at a fraction of the speed of airplanes, they are ideal for short-distance travel. [11]

Moreover, high-speed trains offer an exceptionally comfortable environment that makes travel a pleasure rather than a chore.12 Unlike cars,13 high-speed trains rarely run by14 conventional fuels such as a diesel, but instead are powered primarily by electricity. For countries concerned about the environmental impact of cars, the development of high-speed trains provides15 an ideal solution.