Monday, January 03, 2011

Tohoku Shinkansen

As was planned, the extension of Japan's Tohoku bullet train line from Hachinohe to Aomori went ahead as planned on the fourth of December. I watched a Youtube video of the event. It was ever so exciting. The train arrived and the train left. Perhaps you had to be there.

This is a good map to show where the new train service travels. The old Tohoku Shinkansen went to Hachinohe on the east coast and from there to Aomori which meant a change to a quite fast express train. The old train route is shown in solid green and it is easy to see why even if the Shinkansen wasn't faster, it follows a much more direct line.

By 2015 it is planned for the Shinkansen to continue on from Aomori via the undersea Seikan Tunnel to the northernmost large Japanese island of Hokkaido. The Seikan Tunnel is the longest and deepest undersea tunnel in the world. We can only look north with envy at such luxurious travel.

It is planned to have the train service operating to Sapporo on Hokkaido in the extraordinary time of four hours from Tokoyo, using this E5 train.


  1. Yep, we've got a way to go to emulate that in Australia! If we can't even get ticketing systems to work, what hope have we got with the actual transport?!?! Anyway, whatever happened to the XPT??

    Happy 2011!!

  2. The VFT was planned for a route between Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney via the East Gippsland mountain country and copped a lot of opposition from green groups. I never understood why it didn't follow the existing north south rail line. Any ideas why Andrew?

  3. Red, we could have a try with a high speed train to Sydney from Melbourne via Canberra. Once the pollies travelled by high speed trains to Canberra, they would sing the merit of trains.

    I recall that Loz. Farmers didn't like it going through their land either. It would kill their cows if they strayed onto the track. The route was not good. I would expect the Greens would retract on their objections now. It needs to pick up from large population towns along the way, such as Bendigo, Albury/Wondonga perhaps, whatever. I have written a list of such places where the train should stop in the past. Never mind. There are actually clever people out there who know what a good route is.