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Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train: 10 historical, engineering facts about Japan's prestigious bullet trains

The fastest trains in India as of now are Rajdhani Express and Shatabdi Express.

BT Online | September 12, 2017 | Updated 18:26 IST
Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train: 10 historical, engineering facts about Japan's prestigious bullet trains

With Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, all set to inaugurate India's first bullet train project, bullet trains seem to have become the flavour of the season. However, for the most part, we all know that bullet trains are super fast and super safe and all such trivia but there are a few things we all must know before the inauguration on Thursday:

1.    The first bullet train was inaugurated in Japan in the year 1964, right before the Tokyo Olympics. The train, known as Shinkansen, ran from Tokyo to Osaka. It could move upto 320 km per hour.

2.    However, a few years before Shinkansen was inaugurated in Japan, Emile Bachelet of New York demonstrated a prototype of what was to become a magnetic levitating car. Subsequently, a series of German patents were awarded to Hermann Kemper for his idea of magnetic levitating trains.
3.    The first commercial magnetic levitating car, what was to become one of the earliest versions of Maglev, ran in Birmingham from 1984-95 between the international airport and the international railway station.

4.    The idea behind the Maglev or Magnetic Levitation is very simple. It functions on the basic principle of magnetic repulsion, where opposite poles attract and similar poles repel. This governs the functioning of the Maglev that levitates around 10 mm from the guiding track.

5.    As of now, the fastest train is the Japanese maglev L0 series that can speed up to 603 km/h.

6.    It must be mentioned here that although a lot of countries have high-speed trains, not all of them are bullet trains. According to reports on the Guardian and the Washington Post , fewer than 15 countries had high-speed trains as of 2009.

7.    According to India Today , the TR-09 in Germany and the Shanghai Maglev in China are the second and third swiftest trains that can run upto a speed of 500 km and 430 km per hour respectively.

8.    The fastest trains in India currently are the Rajdhani Express and the Shatabdi Express that run at a speed of 160 km/h and 150 km/h respectively.

9.    The first bullet train in India that is all set for production will run between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.  

10.    According to the Economic Times, the 508-km Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project is likely to cost an estimated amount of Rs 110,000 crore.


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