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2022 | Book

Birth of the Shinkansen

The Origin Story of the World-First Bullet Train

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About this book

This book discusses the Shinkansen, the world's first high-speed railway, which was born in Japan in 1964 and how it has developed up to the present day. In the 1950s, some European railways were trying to increase the commercial operating speed up to 160 km/h, and it was considered difficult to raise it to 200 km/h. Japanese engineers with excellent engineering ability post World War ll moved from the military to the railways to overcome the technological challenges realizing the high-speed railways using new approaches. The book discusses the technological barriers in speeding up the railway at that time and how these engineers overcame them in non-computer days. In the five decades since the Shinkansen began operating, there have been significant developments enabling high-speed, safe, and frequent train operation with high punctuality while conserving the environment. The book also describes today’s highly evolved Shinkansen. The Shinkansen, which runs 440,000 km a day, has carried 13.3 billion people without a single fatality in 56 years. The book overviews factors that contributed to the Shinkansen’s high safety record. This book is an excellent guide for those interested in the history of the world’s first high-speed railway.

Table of Contents

Frontmatter

The Birth of the Shinkansen

Frontmatter
Chapter 1. Basic Study of Railways After World War II
Abstract
In December 1946, exactly one year after Matsudaira moved to RTRI, Hideo Shima.
Tetsuo Shimomae
Chapter 2. RTRI’s Commemorative Lecture on the Possibility of High-Speed Railways
Abstract
In 1957, RTRI celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of its founding. One of the commemorative events was a lecture that played a major role in realizing the Shinkansen.
Tetsuo Shimomae
Chapter 3. The Shinkansen Line: Decision to Construct the Line and the Remaining Technological Problems
Abstract
Ten years after the end of the war, Japan was recovering from its defeat, and the economy was beginning to grow. As a result, there was a shortage of transport capacity on the Tokaido Line, the most crucial trunk line in Japan.
Tetsuo Shimomae
Chapter 4. Technical Development Necessary for Realizing the Shinkansen
Abstract
Before getting to the main topic of this chapter, let us review Matsudaira’s research on hunting motion.
Tetsuo Shimomae
Chapter 5. Shinkansen Business Opening and Afterward
Abstract
On October 1, 1964, the Tokaido Shinkansen opened for business. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was conducted by Reisuke Ishida, JNR president at the time. His predecessor Sogo, who had led the way in bringing the Shinkansen to fruition, had resigned 15 months earlier because the budget for the Shinkansen construction had doubled from its original amount. Sogo accepted responsibility for failing to stay within the budget.
Tetsuo Shimomae

The Current Shinkansen

Frontmatter
Chapter 6. The Shinkansen in 2020
Abstract
As the number of trains increased, environmental problems such as noise, ground vibration, and interference with television signals became serious along the Shinkansen li.
Tetsuo Shimomae

Photographs

Frontmatter
Chapter 7. Photographs (1964–2020)
Abstract
The world's first commercial high-speed vehicle. A total of 3,216 cars were manufactured with repeated improvements. Body: Steel, axle load: 16 tons, traction motor: DC motor, electric brake system: dynamic braking, maximum speed: 210 km/h.
Tetsuo Shimomae
Backmatter
Metadata
Title
Birth of the Shinkansen
Author
Tetsuo Shimomae
Copyright Year
2022
Publisher
Springer Nature Singapore
Electronic ISBN
978-981-16-6538-7
Print ISBN
978-981-16-6537-0
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-6538-7

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