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The Fastech 360S (above) is currently the Japan's fastest train. The 360Z aims to reach speeds in excess of 350km/h - Courtesy AP
The Fastech 360Z will be Japan's fastest bullet train

Japan, the nation already known for having the world's first Shinkansen (bullet train), will begin testing a new next-generation bullet train that will reach speeds of 223 miles per hour.  The East Japan Railway Company recently tested the new bullet train when it reached 229 miles per hour during one of its numerous test runs.  The current train in use, the Fastech 360S, is slightly larger than the 360Z.

Six "FASTECH 360Z" carriages were transported to Sendai on freighters from train factories in Kobe and other areas. They were transferred to trailers at the Port of Sendai and brought to a bullet train depot in Sendai.

The Maglev (magnetic levitation) trains running in Shanghai are still faster, with speeds up to 270 mph.  

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By drunkenmastermind on 3/13/2006 9:50:42 AM , Rating: 2
Living in Japan I have had the opportunity to use the bullet trains and they are cool. They run silky smooth at 250kmph and when one of these magnificant machines runs past you pulling that kind of speed its amasing. I can leave Tokyo at 8am and arrive at a ski resort by 9am and get straight onto the lift, do a days snowboarding, hope on the good foot, do the bad thing and be back in time for tea.

RE: This is no Thomas the Tank Engine guys!!!!
By Novaoblivion on 3/13/2006 10:13:38 AM , Rating: 2
Having been to Japan several times and used the bullet trains I agree they are awesome!

By ShinoOoo on 3/13/2006 7:46:55 PM , Rating: 2
ever been to France ? they have TGV, which held the speed record for some time (515.3 km/h) but they go only up to 300 in normal operation. Still they are more comfortable than the shinks (and better looking to my opinion). They are cheaper too. a shink ticket is hella expensive.. taking the JR pass is a great idea then.

By Xenoterranos on 3/13/2006 10:24:29 AM , Rating: 2
Are you done? Would you like some lemon-salt to rub into my wounds?! (I live in S.Texas. Last time it snowed here, a harddrive cost $6,000.)

By js1701d on 3/13/2006 10:40:35 PM , Rating: 2
The biggest downside to the shinkansen is the price, though. It's fast, but it's much cheaper to take local trains.

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