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Communications link - High Speed Trains - Shinkansen          

The Japanese "New Rail Line" Shinkansen first started its operation in 1964. Unlike the current high speed systems world wide, the Shinkansen is a separate system of its own. The trains run their own track all the way between their stations in the bigger cities. Of course this will crunch additional minutes of the scedules, but will also add huge costs in and around already builtup areas like cities.  

  Shinkansen Types Summary Chart  
  Shinkansen Series 0 Technical Details  

For the moment the Shinkansen page is mostly a Japan super high speed picture page, but we will gradually add more information and additional pictures while they become available. 

One of the fleet of the impressive Shinkansen series 300. 

The same streamlined shape pictured from behind. 

Two Shinkansen 300s resting at the Osaka station. Look at the heavy duty electric connection on the roof between the cars. The wires look incredibly narrow compared with the supporting structure!

The entrance with doors that slide into the side.  

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The newer Shinkansen train "Hikari Rail Star" boarding at the airport...I mean station, alhough the personnel in the background sure look like they would be from the airport. 

Hikari Rail Star for Shinkansen, another view to the streamlined shape of the Japanese designed nose.  Many of the modern Japanese trains exported around the world have interesting streamlined design. 

Hikari Rail Star pantograph and "fins". 

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Shinkansen series 300 seen on the Shinkansen line. Notice the separate traditional rail line close by. If this was in Europe, the super fast traffic would use traditional infrastructure inside the cities and the super high speed lines would be built outside the cities. In many cases it would be difficult to find new corridors for new lines in older European cities.       

More information and pics to follow later. 

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Created for by John McKey. Pictures by Johanna Riihimäki, T-J Hämäläinen, Ilkka Siissalo, Sanna Siissalo, Stanislav Voronin, Siemens AG and John McKey.

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  Japan Super High Speed Train Types at Glance   
 Train type
 Top speed
   km/h (mph)
 Electrical system
 Power kW
 JR East
Series 200 22 240 (150)   25 kV 50 Hz 9200 1P+8P+1P (all powered)  917 Joetsu
Series 400 12 240 (150) 20+25 kV 50 Hz 5040 1P+3P+1U+1P+1P 399 Tohoku, Yamagata
E1 6 240 (150) 25 kV 50 Hz 9840 1U+2P+2U+2P+2U+2P+1U 1229 Joetsu
E2 47 275 (170) 25 kV 50+60Hz 7200/9600 1U+6P+1U 630/815 Tohoku, Nagano
275 (170)
20+25 kV 50 Hz
Tohoku, Akita, Yamagata
240 (150)
25 kV 50+60Hz
Tohoku, Joetsu, Nagano
 JR Central & JR West
Series 300
270 (167)
25 kV 60 Hz
Tokaido, Sanyo
Series 700
91 (+9
285/300 (177/186)
25 kV 60 Hz
1U+2P+2U+2P+1U / ...
Tokaido, Sanyo
 JR Kyushu
Series 800 6 260 (161)  25 kV 60 Hz 7300 1P+4P+1P 292  Kyushu 
 JR West
Series 100 22 220 (136) 25 kV 60 Hz 3700/5500 1P+4P+1P 250/394 Sanyo 
Series 500 300 (186 25 kV 60 Hz 18240 1P+14P+1P  1324 Tokaido, Sanyo 
Series 0few, just retired  220 (136) 25 kV 60 Hz185/axle all powered4, 6, 12 or 16 cars per trainset 368 – 1,323Tokaido, Sanyo 

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 Japanese High Speed Production Units      
 Serie "0"           

Picture: series 0 train standing outside Hamamatsu in 2006. Picture by 投稿者が撮影 provided under GNU Free Documentation License.  

Picture: a 6 car series 0 train standing at Higashi-Hiroshima Station in 2008. Picture by ナダテ provided under GNU Free Documentation License.  

The story of the high speed in Japan started with 1964 series 0 trains on the Shinkansen lines. An impressive number of cars, 3216, were built and the last unit  retired after 44 years in service (for the type).          
Series "0" Technical Details  
-> Type: Series 0 

-> Builder: Nippon Sharyo, Kawasaki Sharyo, Kinki Sharyo, Kisha, Hitachi Ltd, Tokyu Car Corporation
-> Owners: JNR (-1987), JR Central (1987-), JR West (1987-2008)  
-> Number of units: 3216 ! 
-> Delivered to use: 1963 - 1986  
-> Configuration: 4, 6, 12 or 16 cars per trainset  
-> Capacity:  368 – 1,323 passengers   
-> Operated by: 
JNR (-1987), JR Central (1987-), JR West (1987-2008)      
-> Unit length: 25 meters per car 
-> width: 3383 mm (broad loading gauge)  

-> Unit power: 740 kW / car  (992 Hp)
-> Starting tractive effort:     kN 
-> Continuous tractive effort:      kN 
-> Electrical systems for: AC 25 kV/60Hz

-> Design temperatures: unknown
-> Mass, metric tons:    t /  t net

-> Gauge: 1435 mm 
-> Carbody material:  
-> Wheel diameter:      mm

-> Coupler type: 
-> Axle weight max:    tons  

-> heated and ventilated environment for the passengers and train service personnel  
Easy recognition guide

  • only museum units remain currently   
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  Other interesting pages in this category on  
  Super Fast Trains Main Page  Updated
  Super High Speed Trains News   NEW!
  Super High Speed Trains records Page   NEW!
  TGV & AGV page   Recently Updated      
  AGV Page    NEW
  Intercity Express - ICE  and Velaro Page   Updated    

  Shinkansen picture & fact page   NEW  
  Watching Super Fast Train at Paris Gare du Nord    NEW!  
  The SNCF TGV Roster Page    NEW 
  Pendolino special page   Updated     
  Cisalpino (ETR470 Pendolino) story by Ilkka Siissalo in the Swiss section!   NEW  
  Sokol from Russia   Updated  

  High Speed in Russia   NEW!
  Super High Speed Efforts in the U.S.   NEW!
  Super High Speed in China   NEW!
  Maglev technology Page - levitation on the rail   NEW

  Super High Speed Lines and Corridors...     Updated     

   Main > Reference > High Speed Trains > Shinkansen      
© Railroad Reference 2004 - 2009  -  Updated 31.3.2009   John McKey