Milestones:Tokaido Shinkansen (Bullet Train), 1964
(IEEE Milestone and ASME Landmark)
Tokaido Shinkansen (Bullet Train) was designed with the world's most advanced electrical and mechanical train technologies to operate at speeds up to 210 km/hr, a world record when it began service in 1964. It has carried more than 80 million passengers per year for many years with an excellent safety record.
(The milestone plaque may be viewed at the Railway History Museum, SCMAGLEV and Railway Park, 3-2-2 Kinjofuto, Minato-ku, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture 455-0848, JAPAN)
The Tokaido Shinkansen, the world's first inter-city, high-speed railway system, began operations on its route of over 500 kilometers between Tokyo and Osaka more than thirty years ago, in 1964. After its establishment, the Tokaido Shinkansen made a major contribution to Japan's rapid post-war economic growth as the country's principal transportation artery. Today (1997), more than two hundred and eighty Shinkansen trains operate between Tokyo and Osaka each day, with eleven departures an hour at peak times, and a daily ridership of more than 360,000 passengers.
The Shinkansen can be summed up as an inter-city passenger transportation system that has been developed by constantly seeking to expand the limits of the special advantages of railways, including safety, reliability, high speed, and large transportation capacity. The success of Japan's Shinkansen has led to the reevaluation of railways round the world, and a number of nations are now operating and planning high-speed railways based on concepts similar to that of the Shinkansen.