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Bullet Train builders? 2006/4/14 15:51
Who constructed the current Mag-Lev train system in Japan?

I am interested in any information that could be shared regarding the company or persons responsible for the current bullet-train style transportation system available in Japan.

Thank you.
by Craig Silver  

.. 2006/4/16 09:47
MagLev trains and bullet trains are two seperate things.

Currently there is one operational maglev train in Japan, and its a regular commuter train (no super speeds) there is another maglev train being tested for high speed travel.

Bullet Trains are regular trains on tracks that just travel at high speeds, japan has lots of these.
by .. rate this post as useful

.. 2006/4/16 09:50
As mentioned, Maglev trains are different from Bullet trains.

Japan's current bullet train "Shinkansen" system dates back to the 1960's.

There is a long history about it, just go to wiki and research Shinkansen.

In short, Japanese National Railways and the Japanese government funded and built the rail lines, JNR is not privatied into the Current JR companies (JR West, JR East, JR Central etc etc). One of the JR companies is currently testing a maglev system, but it is not in service.

The only existing maglev train in japan is the Linimo used at the Expo, it is a regular train, so don't expect high frills.

If you are looking for an operational High Speed MagLev train, the Shanghi Maglev in China is something you should also research.
by ... rate this post as useful

.. 2006/4/16 09:55
You can start your research here:


Remember, Japan has no operational high speed maglev trains, just high speed bullet trains (two different things and technologies).

The world's only exisiting commercial high speed maglev line is in Shanghi China.

by .. rate this post as useful

Shinkansen manufacturers 2006/4/16 09:59

Manufacture of shinkansen (bullet train) cars is shared between Hitachi, Kawasaki, and Tokyu Car. I don't know who built the high-speed maglev cars currently running on the Yamanashi test track.
by Dave in Saitama rate this post as useful

Thanks for you help 2006/4/25 15:50
Thanks for you answers, they have been very helpful.
by Craig Silver rate this post as useful

Bullet Train builders? 2006/4/26 06:13
Companies like Hitachi, Kawasaki, Mitsubishi, and Tokyu are just manifacturers. The Shinkansen was originally invented by the strike team of Japan Railroad (the modern day JR East) consisted people such as Hideo Shima and Tadanao Miki. They share similar backgrounds as the ex-military engineers who used to design Zero fighters in the wartime.

As for MagLev Trains, the technology belongs to JR West, and the chief engineer was Yoshihiro Kyotani who is still very active as a technical consultant.
by Dogu rate this post as useful

.. 2006/4/26 06:40
It was JNR (Japanese National Railroad), the shinkansen like most other high speed trains are really no different from your regular EMU electrically motored unit train found on any commuter railroad, they just happen to have high speed traction motors, travel at higher speeds, they put a cool nose on the front of the train "thus the term bullet train", even though newer trains don't look like bullets anymore, the term stuck for all high speed trains in the world.
by .. rate this post as useful

Maglev and simple machines 2006/5/26 09:18
I was wondering what kind of simple machines are used in maglev trains?
by Uma rate this post as useful

Simple machines? 2006/5/26 22:00

Magnets, perhaps? Although the semi-conducting magnets used in the Japanese maglev trains are not exactly "simple".
by Dave in Saitama rate this post as useful

fast trains 2008/10/2 13:13
By the way only Japanese fast trains are called bullet trains (I prefer Shinkansen, bullet is too John Waynish for me). Fast trains in France are called TGV (Trains a grande vitesse or high speed trains) and in Germany they are called ICE (Inter-City Express)and in Spain AVE (Alta Velocidad Española)– NOTE that all these very fast trains CAN use regular tracks but can only reach very high speed on special tracks that are welded in long lengths and have as few curves as possible. Maglev trains aren't really practical in Europe or Japan as there is hardly room for another track--and a very expensive as that-- all across the busiest corridors. Also because towns aren't far enough apart for extremely high speed. The USA and Canada would be a great place for them but there is no big train culture there.
by Red frog rate this post as useful

trains in canada 2008/10/2 14:04
high speed trains in canada would not work for most of the country. the weather, terrain and distances are too much for a high speed rail system to happen.

parts of the US would be able to handle it but the passenger volume would be too low since traveling by air is faster and cheaper, and the distances between major cities is too great.
by winterwolf rate this post as useful

. 2008/10/2 15:37
Maglev trains aren't really practical in Europe or Japan as there is hardly room for another track--and a very expensive as that-- all across the busiest corridors.

Two words: Chuo Shinkansen

Maglev service schedule to start around 2025, construction will begin with its terminal at Shinagawa Station in Tokyo, first leg to Nagoya. The Chuo Shinkansen will follow the Chuo Main line and Kansai Main Line as they are not as congested like the busier Tokaido Line where the Tokaido Shinkansen current operates as well.

Will it be successful or will the plan go down the tubes who knows, but they are committed to building starting at Shinagawa Station utilizing (correct me if i'm wrong) part of the old yard there.
by John rate this post as useful

trains 2008/10/3 01:49
John: great news about the Maglev.
Winterwolf: considering the incredibly low speed used on the CN transcontinental line from Toronto to Vancouver, I am sure that they could at least go to 200 km on the prairies, as they started doing in France in 1967,with conventional trains, well before the TGV. There are trains in Europe that run through the mountains faster than the passenger train in the Canadian prairies. The Chinese fast train to Tibet does run in mountainous terrain, with snow etc. I nearly forgot that I used trains in Finland, where I studied for a while. The terrain look very much like Northern Ontario and I went by train from Turku in the South to Rovaniemi, a town located on the Arctic circle (the line goes farther North).
by Red frog rate this post as useful

the problem 2008/10/3 18:12
the problem is the size of canada combined with the speeds the trains travel at create a rail system that is impossible to maintain and airplanes are thus cheaper to use for most mail and passenger purposes. finland is small. even though it has a high speed rail system the distance covered is quite short compared with the distances between major canadian cities (barring perhaps montreal, ottawa and toronto, where i do think a high speed passenger and freight rail system would do well)

the prairies go down below -20c in the winter. this is a real problem for maintenance. when the temperatures start to warm up even slightly thermal expansion happens on a grand scale and can warp the tracks enough to make standard thermal expansion joints dangerous for high speed rail travel. japan is very lucky to have a comparatively stable warm climate all year around.

the truck freight system in canada is also quite efficient but as everyone notices when fuel prices go up shipping prices do as well.
by winterwolf rate this post as useful

Hideo Shima 2009/10/9 19:26
Hideo Shima, designer/engineer, is the driving force behind the Shinkansen (also called Bullet Train) in the 1930s. He came up with some ideas towards the Shinkansen (Bullet Train) project.
by Bella Vista (guest) rate this post as useful

One day in the future 2009/10/10 00:25
Another way for the government to increase our tax.
by stanfordgal rate this post as useful

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