Bullet train companies have probably been salivating ever since Obama allocated $8 billion for high speed rail in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. So it comes as no surprise to learn that Central Japan Railway Co. Chairman Yoshiyuki Kasai spoke to U.S. Transportation Secretary Raymond LaHood on Monday to push the company’s N700 Series bullet train as a contender for future U.S. high speed rail projects. The 186 mph train was introduced in Japan in 2007 and covers ground almost half as fast as an airplane. The Japanese version of the train has luxury and economy cars, both of which feature free Internet.
But even if the N700 train goes into service in the U.S. we’ll still be lagging behind the Japanese–East Japan Railway Co.’s E5 Shinkasen train, scheduled to go into operation in 2011, moves at 199 mph.
Still, Anything would be a welcome upgrade to Amtrak. There is currently only one high-speed rail line in the U.S.–Amtrak’s Acela Express in the Northeast Corridor. In Obama’s vision, high speed rail networks will be built in 10 corridors across the country, each from 100 to 600 miles long. Whether N700 Series trains will run along the networks remains to be seen. According to Kasai, Central Japan Railway will have to make a sustained marketing push to stay a contender.
[Via Japan Today]