I hadn’t realised this until now, but Japan’s most famous bullet train, the 500 series, for many years the fastest train in the world, was retired at the end of February from Nozomi services, the fastest express in Japan, which connect Fukuoka (where I live), Horoshima, Osaka and Kyoto to Tokyo in a little over 5 hours at an average speed of over 230 km/h including stops.ย  The 500 series was designed to operate at over 300 km/h and would reach this speed east of Hiroshima on the Tokkaido Shinkansen route.ย  The train itself was capable of much faster speeds.ย  Each train, of which only 9 were ever made, cost 5 billion yen each.

The newer and cheaper to make 700 series replaced older trains on many services, with the latest, faster accelerating N700 with tilt capabilities, which allow it to go around bends at 270 km/h, replacing all trains on the Nozomi service this year.ย  The 500 series have been modified, from 16-car sets into 8 car sets for the Kodama service (the all stops service).

If all these numbers seem incredible, I’ve re-uploaded the video I made from an N700 on the way to Tokyo in HD on Youtube here:

Posted via web from currawong’s posterous