Shinkansen / Bullet train
When researching the history of high-speed/bullet trains, Shinkansen should be the first thing you should look into, as it is considered the pioneering act of the breakthrough technology.The timeline of Shinkansen, from planning to first official operations, stretches for more than three decades. Tracing back to the 1930s, it progressed up to the 1940s but was stalled by World War II for more than a decade. It was even believed that if not for the worsening condition of the metro’s traffic, the development would have never been continued. Talks for the Shinkansen project were re-visited during the mid-50s.
After issues about feasibility, longevity, money, and government approval were endured, construction began in April 1959. On October 1, 1964, approximately 30 years after its initial proposal, the Shinkansen was officially opened to passengers everywhere.
Maglev is derived from mag-netic lev-itation, a method wherein something moves from point A to point B without touching the ground. The first patent for the train was awarded in 1905, but as decades passed, varying patents from different individuals, who were from the different parts of the world, were also given. For Japan, their “maglev history” started in 1969. From the 1970s, up to the present time, their development has undergone several setbacks and big advancements. The country’s interest for the train likely rooted from its very promising overall aspect and the maglev-related technologies introduced to them by foreign countries.
The three current working maglev trains in Japan are HSST (High-Speed Surface Transport), Linimo (an affiliate of HSST), and SCMaglev. HSST uses the electromagnetic levitation technology, wherein the suspension of the object is via magnetic fields and nothing more. SCMaglev, on the other hand, uses the electrodynamic suspension (EDS) system. Its process is quite similar, but it instead uses time-varying magnetic fields.
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