Japanese railway wonder - train Shinkansen
• Japanese railway wonder - train Shinkansen
50 years ago, in October 1964 in Japan, the world's first bullet train "Shinkansen" (aka bullet-train) was launched, capable of speeds up to 210 km / h and for all became a symbol of the "new" Japan and its growing economic strength. The first line connected the two major Japanese cities - Tokyo and Osaka, slashing the minimum journey time between 7, 5 and 4 hours.
Shinkansen train on a background of Mount Fuji - one of the most recognizable landscapes of modern Japan:
In the literal translation from the Japanese word "Shinkansen" means "new highway". Before the advent of high-speed trains on the railways in Japan are narrow-gauge (1,067 mm), and had a lot of twists due to the peculiarities of the local terrain. On such roads able to develop high speed it was too limited. For the "Shinkansen" have been specially designed new line has a standard gauge of 1,435 mm.
Why Japan initially deviated from international standards are still not fully understood. It is believed that it was the decision of a certain Mr. Okubo, who was the person in charge at the time of the start of construction of the first railroad in Japan. Of course, the narrow gauge is cheaper, and the trains themselves were smaller and more economical to manufacture. However, at the same time it also means less load capacity and low speed. Therefore, the feasibility of this solution for the Japanese remains a big question. At the beginning of the 20th century, the proposed project to restructure the fabric of the international standard, and while supporting the idea had many, instead it was decided to spend the money on building new directions. Thus, the narrow gauge has spread throughout Japan, which still gives a lot of inconvenience.
The advocates of broad gauge managed to realize their projects in the life of the railway laid by the Japanese in the early 30-ies. colonized in South Manchuria. In 1934, between the cities of Dalian and Changchun (700 km) was launched on the legendary "Asia Express", a symbol indicative of the Japanese imperialist power of that time. Capable of speeds of over 130 km / h, it was far superior to the railway system in China at that time, and was even much faster than the fastest express train in Japan. And on a global scale "Asia Express" had an impressive performance. For example, the world's first air-conditioned cars were equipped with it in her. Dining car was equipped with a fridge, there was also a special train - an observation platform with windows along the entire perimeter is decorated with leather chairs and bookshelves. Probably, this example was the final argument in favor of the broad gauge, and gave rise to the first high-speed railway projects in Japan. In 1940, the Japanese government approved on an incredible scale project. Even then, the project involved the creation of a train, capable of speeds up to 200 km / h, but the Japanese government is going to restrict tramline only in Japan. It was supposed to build an underwater tunnel to the Korean Peninsula and ways to stretch right up to Beijing. Construction has already partially started, but soon began a war and the subsequent deterioration of the military and political positions of Japan ended the imperial ambitions. In 1943, the project had been discontinued, the same year was the last for the "Asia Express". However, some sections of the lines "Shinkansen", operated today, were built in the pre-war years.
On the construction of "Shinkansen" talking again after 10 years of war. Rapid economic growth has created a strong demand for cargo and passenger transportation in the country. However, the idea to revive the project were completely unpopular and was heavily criticized. At that time, it was strongly believed that road and air transport will supersede the railway soon as it happened, for example, in the US and some European countries. The project was again in jeopardy.
In 1958, between Tokyo and Osaka, in yet another narrow gauge, was launched on the direct ancestor of "Shinkansen" - business express "Kodama". With a maximum speed of 110 km / h and it covered the distance between the cities in 6, 5 hours making possible one-day trip. In Japan, where the culture of doing business based on personal meetings, it was a very convenient solution. Nevertheless, he served for a brief period. The incredible popularity of "Kodama" did not leave any doubt in need of high-speed lines, and less than a year, the government finally approved the project to build a "Shinkansen". Business Express "Kodama", 1958-1964 gg .:
It is widely believed that the launch of the "Shinkansen" had been scheduled for the opening of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, but the Japanese deny it. Construction lines "Shinkansen" began in March 1959, more than a month before Tokyo was chosen as host city for the Games. However, the Olympics came in very handy. Initially declared "Shinkansen" budget for construction was obviously too small and everyone knew about it, but say the actual numbers were too risky. The credit allocated by the World Bank at a sufficiently low interest, and did not cover half the cost. The real value of which, in the end, exceeded the declared almost 2, 5 times managed to cover, "having obtained" money from the state, ostensibly to catch the opening of the Olympic Games!
Early in the morning October 1, 1964 at Tokyo Station first launch ceremony "Shinkansen" with a specially constructed platform number 19. Platform richly decorated red and white ribbons and traditional Japanese paper ball "Kusudama". Tronuvshis train tore the tape, the ball opened and out of it at will fluttered 50 white doves. Then there was music, fireworks and general jubilation of thousands of Japanese, not too lazy to visit at 5 am as a landmark event. In the evening of the same day photos "Shinkansen" appeared on the front pages of all the major countries of publications under the big headlines, broadcasts about the beginning of a new era in the history of Japan, and, what could be shy, all over the world.
The ceremony of launching the first "Shinkansen". Tokyo, 1964.
A sense of national pride in the "Shinkansen" does not shy away from any of the Japanese, and the emperor himself, said he wrote about whether a song whether ode.
In 1975, Japan was visited by Queen homeland country railway. It is, of course, about England. The royal couple arrived on a friendly visit to the emperor, and one of the first items in the entertainment program was a trip to the "miracle train" to Kyoto. For Japan, it was the perfect occasion to show off, but such a rare chance and could not miss the quirky Japanese trade unions. Literally, from the Queen's arrival, workers staged the first in the history of the Japanese railway strike. In short, all the drivers, "Shinkansen", of which there were 1,100 people, refused to roll queen, until you have made the union's demands. Of course, a cornered boss demands quickly complied, but a ride on the "Sinkansene" the queen was only already on the way back. A series of mishaps did not end there. On the day, when the queen had to take the train, he was a heavy downpour and the train was late by as much as 2 minutes. In general, if it will make an impression on Elizabeth II or not - is unknown, but it is said to strike, she was not offended, and took all the humor. She said she herself is no stranger to strikes. Train "Shinkansen", painted with paint in protest:
Contrary to skeptical expectations, Shinkansen train turned out to be incredibly successful, and quickly recoup the cost of construction. Total second line was opened in 8 years. Already by 1981 the debt on the loan to the World Bank was completely covered. Moreover, today the train Shinkansen provides up to 80% profit Japan Railways. Currently, there are 8 lines of "Shinkansen" total length of almost 3000 km and they continue to build.
Driving the train Shinkansen lines:
Of course, in the 50 years of its existence, "Shinkansen" was rather big evolutionary path, though not always cloudless.
In the 80-ies. 575 inhabitants of the city of Nagoya, whose houses were located along the pathways, are suing the management of "Shinkansen" complaining about the noise and strong vibrations. Immediately thereafter, technologies have been introduced to reduce noise and vibration, improve the quality of railroad tracks. It was also generally introduced to slow down when traveling through densely populated areas.
Today "Shinkansen" virtually silent, the path often take place in the immediate vicinity of the building without causing much discomfort. Another step in the development of steel technologies in the field of energy efficiency. And all because of Japan in which 99, 7% of oil imported (non-Russian), proves to be very sensitive to the repeated oil shocks. Thus, under pressure from both external and internal factors in the person sverhtrebovatelnyh Japanese "Shinkansen" rapidly improved. However, the very first model train was permanent until 1982, and even after the emergence of new models remain in use right up to 2008
In 1987, Japanese National Railways was privatized, rather than state monopoly 5 new independent companies. Healthy competition has given a new impetus to the development of technology and quality of service.
The trains were so-called "green cars", comparable with the level of business class in airplanes. In fact, the airline and were and are still the main competitors "Shinkansen". These cars have become a kind of indicator of the economic situation in the country. During the heyday of many companies buy their employees to travel places in the "green cars", but the decline of the economy are usually empty.
Now the interior of the car looks like this:
The tickets are available with and without a place. In cars without a seat you may have to sit in the middle, but cheaper
On the train station hangs scheme, so that once it is clear what the car you need:
On landing all stand in neat lines. On the platform the line drawn for the queues in each car:
Competing companies also in elegance food on board. In general, eating a "bento" in "Sinkansenah" has become a kind of tradition, even if it takes just a couple of hours. They are sold both at the stations and in the trains themselves. At each site has its own unique "Bento". Until 2000, trains existed dining cars and wagons cafe, but the ever-increasing flow of passengers required more seats. We began to appear two-story train, but in these restaurants did not last long. The same story has also affected the private compartment, which could be room for one or an entire conference room for 4-5 persons. The economic recession is almost completely destroyed the demand for such cars.
Traditional station "bento" lunch:
90th. and an end to the economy "bubble" have become the most unstable in the development history of "Shinkansen". In addition, in 1995, an earthquake occurred in the Osaka area, and while the trains themselves were not damaged, bent rails properly. The restoration took about 3 months. But there were also positive aspects, such as the Olympic Games in Nagano, 98, has created a demand for new destinations!
Although slow the pace of economic growth, during all this time it has always continued to appear new and better model trains. We began to develop a variety of security systems, primarily for protection from earthquakes. Now in case of an earthquake triggered an automatic warning system, which brakes the train for a fraction of a second to the shock. So even shattering earthquake in 2011 did not happen no accidents with trains "Shinkansen", they all stopped safely in automatic mode. By the way, the danger of earthquakes is one of the main reasons for the train ride slower than would technically.
Modern trains "Shinkansen":
Wagons in trains "Shinkansen" Do not disconnect. Therefore, they do not have a tail, but always two heads! And trains can be interconnected (chmok):
By the way, the red cooler and faster, so he usually drags green. The last model came out a couple of months ago, in March 2014.
There is one more very special train. It is called "Doctor Yellow". They say that to see him - a very good sign. This is such a special doctor who examines and checks the path and other related equipment to repair a few times a month. During the day he goes at the same speed as the rest of the train, so as not to interfere. And at night, he slowly and carefully inspects all track sections.
Since the 2000s. Japanese technology "Shinkansen" were actively exported abroad. At this point in the Asian region, high-speed trains are China, Taiwan and South Korea. All these countries, except Korea, have high-speed railways on the basis of Japanese technologies (Korea borrowed the French TGV technology). Exported is not just technology, but also they decommissioned Japanese compositions.
Modern train "Shinkansen" in Japan are developing a maximum speed of 270 km / h and the next year it is planned to raise up to 285 km / h, although the test speed reaches 440 km / h. The travel time between Tokyo and Osaka is now less than 2, 5 hours. The trains are equipped with everything necessary for comfortable traveling - a clean toilet, smoking room, outlets at each seat, sometimes even machines for drinks.
Tokaido line (Tokyo, Osaka) is the busiest high-speed rail line in the world and carries a year more than 150 million passengers. Trains from Tokyo depart every 10 minutes.
In spite of the relatively high cost, Sinkansken train does not lose popularity because of its accuracy, speed, comfort, high level of service, and most importantly, safety. Over 50 years of service, not a single incident which caused death or serious injury by high-speed train. More than any other country in the world can boast of such figures Security-speed rail transport. Statistics confirm that the "Sapsan" has killed more than 20 people in the first year of its life.
Although the Japanese Shinkansen train is one of the most advanced vehicles in the world, on how to improve the work does not stop. In Yamanashi Prefecture has a special research center, which are created and tested new technologies, in particular, JR-Maglev - Japanese system of high-speed maglev trains. It was there in December 2003, a test train of three cars MLX01 modifications set an absolute speed record for rail transport - 581 km / h.