Which Shinkansen is the Fastest?

Japan’s Shinkansen boasts top-class perfection in terms of speed, visuals, and performance, but have you ever wondered which Shinkansen is the fastest?

This time, we will introduce Japan’s successive bullet trains in order of speed.

Japan’s Successive Shinkansen Speed Ranking

9th Place: E7/W7 series Hokuriku Shinkansen | Maximum speed 260km

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Basic Data

Operator: East Japan Railway Company (E7 series), West Japan Railway Company (W7 series)

Factory: Kawasaki Heavy Industries Rolling Stock Company, Hitachi, Ltd. Kasado Works, General Rolling Stock Works Yokohama Office (E7 series), Kinki Rolling Stock (W7 series)

Production year: 2013 

Production: 33 trains 396 cars (F train) 13 trains 156 cars (W train) 

Start of Operation: March 15, 2014 (Hokuriku Shinkansen), March 16, 2019 (Joetsu Shinkansen)

Placement: Joetsu / Hokuriku bullet train

Overview

Shinkansen E7 series and W7 series trains are Shinkansen vehicles of East Japan Railway Company (JR East) and West Japan Railway Company (JR West). 

When the Hokuriku Shinkansen Nagano Station – Kanazawa Station extension opened, it was jointly developed and introduced by JR East and JR West, and in addition to the new set “Kagayaki”, “Hakutaka” and “Tsurugi”, from 1997 Tokyo Station – Nagano.

It is operated by “Asama” which is operated between stations. In addition, since 2018, it has been operated at Joetsu Shinkansen Tokyo Station – Takasaki Station – Echigo Yuzawa Station – Niigata Station, and Gala Yuzawa Station.

Japanese Style Concept

The E7 series and W7 series are Shinkansen bullet trains with almost the same specifications, just with different names for East and West JR. 

It is unique in that it has a Japanese-style concept, and although it operates at a modest maximum speed of 260 km/h, it connects Tokyo and Kanazawa in just 2 hours and 28 minutes.

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8th Place: 800 series Kyushu Shinkansen|Maximum speed 260km/h

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Basic Data

Operator: Kyushu Railway

Company: Hitachi Ltd.

Production Year: 2003 – 2010

Number of production: 9 trains, 54 cars

Start of operation: March 13, 2004

Destination: Kyushu Shinkansen

Overview

Introduced for the opening of the section between Shin-Yatsushiro Station and Kagoshima-Chuo Station on the Kyushu Shinkansen on March 13, 2004. It has won the Good Design Award.

Average Speed is 202km

The Kyushu Shinkansen, which connects to Kagoshima, is relatively new among all the lines. 

Passengers are also entertained by different designs each time they see it, and they have the nicknames Sakura and Tsubame. Although it can only reach speeds of up to 260 km/h, it boasts an average speed of 202 km, which is quite fast.

7th Place: Doctor Yellow (Type 923) | Maximum speed 270km/h

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Basic Data

Operator: Central Japan Railway / West Japan Railway

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Works: Hitachi Kasado Works (Cars 1-3), Nippon Sharyo Manufacturing (Cars 4-7)

Year of Manufacture: 2000 (22 years ago), 2005 (17 years) Before)

Number of Production: 2 trains, 14 cars

Overview

The Shinkansen 923 train is a Shinkansen electric track comprehensive test car (Doctor Yellow) for the Tokaido / Sanyo Shinkansen, which is enrolled in Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central) and West Japan Railway Company (JR West Japan). 

Regarding the operation of Dr. Yellow, details such as sections and running times are not announced at all, so it is said that “witnessing Dr. Yellow makes you happy.” 

It is very popular because it is a vehicle that you don’t often see and its color stands out, and many related products such as Plarail and model trains are on sale.

Maximum speed of 270km/h greatly reduces interference with timetables.

The maximum speed of the 922 series, which is based on the 0 series, was 210 km/h, but since it is based on the 700 series, the maximum speed has been increased to 270 km/h, greatly reducing the trouble with the timetable. 

Dr. Yellow has long been in charge of inspections on the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen lines, and now travels all over the country from Hokkaido to Kyushu.

6th Place: East-i (E926 type) | Maximum speed 275 km/h

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Basic Data

Operator: East Japan Railway Company, Tokyo Car

Production year: 2001

Number of production: 7 cars per train

Overview

The Shinkansen E926 train is a Shinkansen electric track general test car enrolled in East Japan Railway Company (JR East). 

Since the opening of the Tohoku Shinkansen and Joetsu Shinkansen in 1982, the 925 series has been used for overhead wire and track inspection on the Shinkansen lines under the jurisdiction of JR East. 

Due to the opening of the mini-Shinkansen, which could not enter the line, and the deterioration of the rolling stock itself, measurement data at the same speed as the maximum speed of 275 km / h for commercial trains were required. 

In 2001, it was developed based on the E3 series, which was adapted to the vehicle limits of conventional lines, in response to the need to shorten the time and the need for an inspection vehicle that could directly connect to new stations.

The world’s fastest-inspection vehicle

Developed by JR East based on the E3 series, the East Eye reaches a maximum speed of 275 km/h and is said to be the fastest inspection vehicle in the world. Currently, we are responsible for inspections throughout eastern Japan, including Tohoku, Hokuriku, and Hokkaido.

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5th Place: E3 series Akita/Tohoku Shinkansen|Maximum speed 275km/h

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Basic Data

Operator: East Japan Railway Company, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Tokyo Car 

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Manufacturing year: 1995 – 2010

Number of cars manufactured: 261

Refurbishment: Kawasaki Heavy Industries, General Rolling Stock Works Yokohama Office 

Start of operation: March 22, 1997

Destination: Tohoku/Akita/Yamagata Shinkansen

Overview

Developed as a vehicle for the Akita Shinkansen, which opened in 1997, and in 1995, one 5-car train was completed as a mass-production leading vehicle, and in 1996, a mass-produced vehicle was completed. 

In addition to raising the maximum speed of the E3 series from 240km/h to 275km/h, the body is made of aluminum alloy, and the bottom of the body is smoothly covered with a cover to prevent snow from entering in winter. It is also a feature.

275 km/h in Shinkansen section

The maximum speed is 130 km/h in the conventional line section, and when it merges with the Tohoku Shinkansen, it is connected to the E5 series, etc. to increase the average speed, and in the Shinkansen section, it is 275 km/h, which is comparable to the full standard. 

4th place: N700 series Tokaido/Sanyo Shinkansen|Maximum speed 300km/h

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Basic Data

Operator: Central Japan Railway Company / West Japan Railway Company / Kyushu Railway Company: Hitachi Kasado Works, Nippon Sharyo Manufacturing, etc.

Production year: 2007 – 2020

Number of production: 202 trains 2,992 cars + 1 substitute car (16 cars) 172 trains, 2752 cars, 8 car trains, 30 trains, 240 cars) 

Start of operation: July 1, 2007 (16 car trains)

Placement: Tokaido/Sanyo/Kyushu Shinkansen

Overview

The N700 series is a Shinkansen that belongs to Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central), West Japan Railway Company (JR West Japan), and Kyushu Railway Company (JR Kyushu). 

Aiming for both, West Japan Railway Company (JR West Japan) and Central Japan Railway Company (JR Tokai) jointly developed the first “Nozomi” 300 series and the 0 series system, which remained slightly on the Sanyo Shinkansen. 

Commercial operation at a maximum speed of 300 km/h, which is equivalent to the 500 series, was realized for the first time.

A type that produces one of Japan’s leading average speeds

With a maximum speed of 300 km/h, it is one of the average-speed vehicles in Japan and is active under the name of Hikari and Kodama. 

The fastest transit speed of 300 km is between Himeji and Hakata, which is the route of the Sanyo Shinkansen. An improved N700A was introduced in 2013, and a kind of Hikari Rail Star of the N700 series with a different design is showing off its presence.

3rd place: E6 Series Akita/Tohoku Shinkansen|Maximum speed 320km/h

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Basic Data

Operator: East Japan Railway 

Company: Hitachi, Ltd., Kasado Works, Kawasaki Heavy Industries Rolling Stock Company 

Production year: 2010 – 2014 Number of production: 24 trains, 168 cars 

Start of Operation: March 16, 2013 

Destination: Tohoku/Akita Shinkansen

Overview

The Shinkansen E6 series train is a Shinkansen train for direct operation (for mini Shinkansen) that East Japan Railway Company (JR East) started commercial operation on March 16, 2013. 

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It was developed as a new Akita Shinkansen vehicle to replace the E3 Series 0 series, to operate at a maximum speed of 320km/h on the Tohoku Shinkansen section. It won the Laurel Award on May 26, 2014, and the Good Design Award on October 1, 2014.

Connected with the E5 series on the Tohoku Shinkansen

The current maximum speed is 320 km/h, even though it is a mini Shinkansen, which is said to be the fastest among the Shinkansen currently in service, along with the E5 series. 

When the E6 series passes through a conventional line, it reaches a speed of 130 km/h, and when it enters the Tohoku Shinkansen, it rushes to an ultra-high speed of 320 km/h. It is famous for running in conjunction with the E5 series on the Tohoku Shinkansen.

2nd Place: E5 series Tohoku Shinkansen|Maximum speed 320km/h

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Basic Data

Operator: East Japan Railway 

Company: Hitachi, Ltd., Kasado Works, Kawasaki Heavy Industries Rolling Stock Company

Year of manufacture: 2009 – (E5 series) 

Production Number E5 series: 46 trains, 460 cars 

Operation Start: March 5, 2011 

Destination: Tohoku – Hokkaido Shinkansen

Overview

The E5 series was developed to run at a maximum speed of 320km/h on the Tohoku Shinkansen and began commercial operation on March 5, 2011. 

With the advent of the E5 series, a new fastest type “Hayabusa” was set. It is positioned as a substantial successor to the E2 series and is currently the main vehicle of the Tohoku Shinkansen.

The E5 series recorded a maximum speed of 320 km/h between Utsunomiya and Morioka.

The E5 series of Tohoku Shinkansen, characterized by its visual appearance with a very long nose and precious Joban green, has recorded a maximum speed of 320 km / h between Utsunomiya and Morioka. 

In the future, it is expected that the speed will be increased to 360 km/h, achieving one of the fastest passing speeds in the world.

1st Place: Linear Chuo Shinkansen|Maximum speed 505 km/h

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Basic Data

Current status: Under construction (Between Shinagawa Station and Nagoya Station), Planning (Between Nagoya Station and Shin-Osaka Station)

Type: Superconducting magnetic levitation railway (Shinkansen)

Starting point: Shinagawa Station

Ending point: Shin-Osaka Station (planned)

Completed: 2037 schedule

Overview

The Chuo Shinkansen is a scheduled Shinkansen route from Tokyo to Osaka. 

This is the first Shinkansen line to use a superconducting linear system and is commonly referred to as the “Linear Chuo Shinkansen” on the commentary website established by Central Japan Railway Company (JR Tokai) and in media reports. 

In the national development plan, it is the “Chuo Shinkansen”, and JR Tokai, which is the main body of construction and operation, calls it the “Chuo Shinkansen” in press releases and explanatory materials for areas along the line.

Superconducting Maglev

Since it is intended for high-speed transportation, it is constructed using a superconducting magnetically levitated linear motor car “Superconducting Maglev,” which is capable of traveling at high speeds of up to 505 km/h on a straight route. 

Since there is no friction between the wheels and rails like in railways, it is possible to run at ultra-high speeds.

Fastest Shinkansen in Japan

So far, we have introduced the speed rankings of the next Shinkansen trains in Japan. The first place is the Linear Chuo Shinkansen. No wonder why as it features the best characteristics that a Shinkansen has to offer. 

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