The phenomenal success of both the Japanese Shinkansen High Speed Train and the French TGV High Speed train is an exciting story and a great model for America to follow to bring our outdated transportation into the 21st century. America is the only industrialized nation years behind in advanced transportation.
Japan was the first to build an entirely new system of high speed trains in 1964, with France following in 1981. Both systems have grown substantially over the years with sustained serious investment to the point today where they've moved billions of people quickly, efficiently, and safely.
In the 40 years since the Japanese high speed train opened, it has carried more than 6 billion passengers without a single major accident. The Shinkansen network boasts not only high speed - up to 300 kilometers per hour - but also high frequency with at least 6 high speed trains per hour operating between Tokyo and Osaka!
The French TGV has been a great success as well, and on November 28, 2003 carried its one-billionth passenger - the two-billion mark is expected to be reached by 2010. The TGV trains have largely replaced air travel between connected cities due to shorter travel times, reduced check-in, security and boarding formalities, and the convenient location of stations in the hearts of cities.
The French high speed rail system is now spreading far past their borders into neighboring countries - considered the second wave of high speed rail development into a European rail network.
"You go to Shanghai, China right now... and they've got high-speed rail that puts our railroads to shame." "America has always had the best infrastructure." -President Obama, Feb. 10, 2009
Japanese Bullet Train
Click to view national high speed rail plan
CALIFORNIA HIGH SPEED RAIL PROJECT MOVING FORWARD - After 10 years of hard work, this complex project came up for a vote by the people, was passed, and going forward. This will be the first high speed rail system in America - starting a major change in direction for transportation in the country, and will lead to other states building high speed rail.
"This is the first big step for real mobility and sustainability in America. It will cut our dangerous oil and car dependence, and reduce our global warming emissions. It's a great day in America!" Read more
Japanese High Speed Nozomi Bullet Train
Bullet Trains in Tokyo
"Tokyo's electric trains get 6,600 miles to the gallon." -USA Today, March 4, 2008
NEW WORLD SPEED RECORD
In April 2007 a French train set a new world speed record reaching the amazing speed of 357 mph on conventional rails! Click the photo below to see a video of the record-breaking run. Watch Video