9 Things You Should Know About Bullet Train

#1, Where does the bullet train name come from?

A Bullet train is a high-speed passenger train. This high-speed train has a bullet nose, that’s why people call it a bullet train.

#2, The history of bullet train

The first bullet train originated in Japan. Hideo Shima, a Japanese engineer, was the inventor of the first bullet train.

Agis Salpukas wrote in the New York Times in 1998 that Hideo Shima was the chief engineer of Japanese national railways in the 1960s. He helped push the plan for a new high-speed rail track linking Tokyo and Osaka. The first bullet train ran on this high-speed rail track in 1964.

The world’s first bullet train started running in 1964 in Japan at speeds above 130 miles per hour. Another name for the bullet train in Japanese is ” Shinkansen”.

#3, How many countries have bullet trains?

Based on the worldwide railway organization there are total of 20 countries in the world have high-speed rail in 2020. Among these 20 countries, only 12 of them have train speed equal or over 300 km/h.

These 12 countries are

  • China
  • Japan
  • France
  • Morocco
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Belgium
  • The Netherlands
  • United Kingdom
  • Saudi Arabia

#4, Is bullet train a passenger train or freight train?

The majority of bullet trains are passenger trains. In 2020 China announced its first bullet freight train.

Based on Chinadaily.com.cn this new generation of high-speed cargo trains can reach the speed of 350 kilometers per hour. Its carry capacity is about 110 metric tons.

This high-speed cargo train opens a new era of freight transportation. It can operate in temperatures of between -25 C and 40 C ( -13F to 104 F), so it is less affected by weather facts. It can travel 1500 kilometers within 5 hours (based on chinadaily.com.cn). This high-speed cargo train might lead to a new delivery standard of e-commerce worldwide.

#5, What is the highest speed of a bullet train?

Ben Jones at CNN pinted out that the highest speed a bullet train can reach is 460km/h (286miles/hour) by Shanghai Maglev in china.

Shanghai Maglev is the world’s fastest train. This train applies magnetic levitation (maglev) technology rather than conventional steel wheels on steel rails(based on www.cnn.com). The magnet can lift the train a few inches above the ground and the only friction is air, that is why the maglev train can reach such high speed.

#6, Which county has the most bullet train?

China is a world leader in high-speed trains. China owns the most and the fastest bullet trains in the world.

China has a 38,000-kilometer network of new railways nationwide. Almost every megacity in china has a high-speed rail.

China’s goal is to reach 70,000 kilometers high- speed railtrack by 2035 (based on CNN.com).

#7, Which country has the fastest bullet train?

China has the fastest bullet train in the world. The fastest bullet train is Shanghai maglev and it’s highest speed is 460 km/hour (286miles/hour) per Ben Jones at CNN.com.

China is number one in the speed of bullet trains. Japan is second with a speed of around 320 kilometers/hour. South Korea, Spain, Germany, etc. have bullet trains at a speed between 300~310 km/h.

#8, Does the U.S. has a bullet train?

The U.S. has the world’s best freight railroad system but does not have high-speed passenger bullet trains. The highest-speed passenger train that the U.S. has is Acela, which introduced by Amtrack and Alstom company .

Acela is the new, high-speed passenger train that operates at the highest speed of around 240km/h on Amtrak’s northeast corridor.

#9, Why the U.S. does not have bullet trains?

Density of population

The U.S. has a much less population than China. The high speed-train system needs billions of dollars to build and operate.

If we do not have such a dense population, then the income from the passengers can not justify the cost. this is one of the major reasons why the U.S. is not eager to build high-speed train system.

American car culture

I heard so many people say that America is on the wheel. Car culture has been ingrained in Americans. Cars provide more freedom than trains. You still need a car to get to the train station and drive home from the train station.

here is a good video really dive deep and explain why U.S. does not have high-speed train