The original bullet train line opened in 1964 for the Tokyo Olympics with a top speed of 210 km/h. For the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, a new train will be introduced that reached 360 km/h during testing on that same line.

This is an open thread.

16 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: N700S 360 km/h Test”

  1. Heard something on the radio just now that I think has some pertinence here. Certain Federal official wants to shrink a couple of wildlife preserves for coal mining.

    [OT] whether a single individual should have that kind of power. But real question is how long The Market will keep fossil fuels as cheap as they are dirty? Which to me is same calculation as for transportation.

    Japan’s “Bullet Train” is 56 years old. Would rather car-builders and construction workers be American rather than Chinese. But time will come when, like with freeway travel now, voters will decide they’d rather be moving aboard a train than stuck in either I-5 traffic or airline security.

    Somebody who knows their civil engineering, technology and history: What ALL can we build now that we couldn’t in 1964?

    Mark Dublin

    1. Safe and up to date Gondolas, Trains, Moving Sidewalks. All up to date, and All SAFE!

      I hate to say this, this business with cars and car travel has got to come to an end. Nothing but pollution.

    1. Thanks for the link, Sam. Just forwarded it to my State Representative. Know you’ve already done the same, but you’re welcome to borrow all the text you need.

      “I came upon this attached to a comment in Seattle Transit Blog this morning. Never got physically attacked in my thirteen years of driving for Metro Transit, but had fellow drivers who took vision and brain damage. Did Western State Hospital ever get its accreditation back?

      Because my sense of the situation is same as for the general condition of Seattle, making me ever less sorry I had to leave. An economy that’s left the city literally choking on money, but paralyzed as to paying for the mental health care whose lack puts my fellow passengers, and my former bus-driving colleagues- in serious physical danger.

      Additionally, and maybe worst of all, is watching the political right wing celebrate a situation that’s very largely of their own making, while well within their ability to pay for the cure. Appreciate your attention.

      Mark Dublin”

      And help me out if I’ve left anything out.


  2. Richard, could we compare present situation to transition to horseless carriage-which really cut into shovel-sales to remove pollution? Sheer number of cars is finally defeating the mode’s whole purpose.

    But since this is an Open Thread, very glad that yesterday the Intercity Transit passenger-assistance program I’ve just joined gave me my first chance to see ST handle Connect 2020 firsthand.

    Parked my car at Tacoma Dome Station, ST 574 to Sea-Tac Airport, Link to SODO, shuttle bus to IDS for the Lunar New Year festival. Individually and together, staff and operating personnel delivered a terrific performance. Heavy crowds, but no shortage of trains, shuttle buses, information, or morale.

    Looking backward over the years, very proud how close I’d been to regional transit for so long. But also, really glad for the chance to show Thurston County colleagues how easy future association might really be.

    Years of travel on ST 574 and 594 make me wish general relations with the Pierce County Council could come equal for positivity. Because of yesterday’s whole day’s outing was welcome relief from general run of broadcast and printed news.

    Mark Dublin

  3. Anyone know why, exactly, the eastbound 44 has three destination options that are selected at random:

    1. Maybe it has something to do whether or not it’s continuing on as a 43 or not? If not that, I guess they just want to fit in as many major destinations/landmarks as possible … the visual version of the onboard automated bus announcements.

  4. “Agriburbia”: Friend or Foe?
    “A recent article in the Denver Post profiles a developer on the Front Range who is attempting to do some good in this area.The development is called “agriburbia” and sets out to build suburban sub developments where backyards are turned into small farms.”

    Not a new concept. Most of the time it seems to be “green field” developments. But the idea has also been applied to failed golf course developments. One big issue is transportation. But it’s also been used for new retirement communities where it could work well.

    1. Excellent thought, Bernie. Really is time for transit activists to start doing some research as to what crops can actually be grown in places under discussion.

      Along same line of thinking, as well as track-laying, would be return of the “Streetcar Suburbs” of the interurban days. Work some kind of intergovernmental arrangement to buy land for development, and if you don’t first-off lay track, at least lay out streets and roads for multi-modal transit.

      Great image is regular developers suddenly turning around and finding themselves surrounded by both pretty villages and trolley wire. With at least one drugstore per development offering chocolate malted milk. Start saying “interurban” instead of “light rail” and who knows…..?

      Somebody else can link “Cemetery Streetcar Lines”.

      Mark Dublin

    2. Thanks for the link. This dovetails with my comment yesterday that lawns are ecological deserts. Practically anything is better than a blank lawn: shrubs, vegetables, flowers, succulents, chicken coops, etc. And it can be done in city yards as well as suburban yards and Detroit-style homesteading — they’re all variations of the same thing. I’ve heard of a CSA in Ballard that somehow grows enough to sell subscription boxes. There’s room for both small- and large-scale operations, both one-household efforts and multi-household efforts. Maybe more systematic patterns will emerge over time.

      Jane Jacobs wrote that agriculture originated in cities. Cities create a concentration of people and cross-pollination of ideas that generate innovation. Those innovations eventually expand to the countryside where they can scale up and, in the case of agriculture, feed more people.

      The article talks about suburbs becoming the next slums, and people growing vegetables and then driving their Hummers twenty miles to work. These are problems but they’re not universal. In our area, South King County has been neglected and is the most likely to become a slum, but the Eastside is doing very well, thank you. There’s a relationship between wealth and investment and making neighborhoods more walkable. Unfortunately that means the places that are most convenient to get around in are the same ones that are the most expensive. (Notwithstanding outlying mansions like Medina and the west Lake Washington shore. The rich have their mansions; the merely well-to-do have downtown condos. And the lower-income are stuck in car-dependent neighborhoods, which were not built for them.) So different suburbs have different trajectories. And regarding the Hummer, many suburbanites live close to work, and the majority now work in the suburbs. So the backyard farmer in Woodinville may work in Seattle, but more likely they work in the Eastside, so they can have a farm and drive a short distance.

      The biggest problem with the suburbs is that these houses are designed for two parents, two kids, and not many households are like that anymore. So people struggle to adapt the houses to a one-parent, one-child family, or DINKs, or roomates, or immigrants, or lower-income people, or those who don’t want to drive to get anywhere. These same challenges will affect urban farms. Is the yard large enough, too large, too close to the neighbors, too separated for a group of families to manage it as one farm? I don’t know, and it may take some experimenting to figure out. But the fact remains that these houses and yards were not designed for the needs of current households and agriculturalists, and their physical layout will present some hinderances and challenges.

      1. “too separated for a group of families to manage it as one farm?”

        I mean, too separated for a group of families to manage all their yards as one big farm efficiently.

  5. In the 70’s I had a picture book about different types of trains. It also had different models of historic train sets. It showed that train in it. I wish I still had it.

  6. A few hot takes and sorry, I’ve meant to post this a few times today but super busy…

    1) Nice to see a bullet train finally go at the speed of a supercar. Thanks for sharing.

    2) Closer to home, I am not too wild about paying one’s fare via a smartphone. Maybe it’s my less than good hand-eye coordination but on Whatcom Transportation Authority the TouchPass smartphone app takes longer to register my fare than tapping on & tapping off. Had a similar problem when using an app in another state to pay my fare to get to a Krispy Kreme. Rather have the smartphone give a radio or wifi signal when boarding than a QR code to register so the fare from a pass is automatically collected as you walk onto the vehicle, no fuss. But that’s me.

    Are there some civil liberties issues with this? Yes but paying beforehand should speed up the bus. Also there should always be as an ACLU-sympathetic and cash-dependent alternative the paper pass option and just putting good ole cash into a plexiglass farebox per trip.

    3) Real happy to see University Street Station teeter on getting a way better name. I know my naming convention for Sound Transit Stations has the support of… one, so I want to lend my support towards Symphony Station.

    I will stop there.

  7. For the first time since the Pioneer Square platform change stuff has been in effect I’m using trip planner (google’s and metro’s) to get a time estimate from north u-dist to the airport on a weekday morning.
    Nothing I do will show the normal route of taking a 45 to Husky stadium and then take Link to the airport. It just has me take buses to the Mt Baker station and then Link from there. Or walk a lot to get a bus to Pioneer Sq station.
    I get that the normal Link ride takes longer now due to the train switch, but when I break it into two trips (one to husky stadium, one to airport), the total time doesn’t seem all that different from the other routes it’s showing me.
    Is the Pioneer Sq. Link/platform stuff causing trip planner to behave a lot differently? Or am I missing some obvious reason why it’s no longer show me the desired trip as an option (even if it’s not the top choice).

    1. The next-arrival displays have been off since the third day of the special routing. There’s no public schedule for Link so I assume the trip planners don’t know either. Link’s frequency is now 12-18 minutes and it sometimes slips to 30 minutes. The normal UW-SeaTac travel time was 46 minutes. So you can either add the changed frequency buffer or take a bus downtown. The 26 and 28 are through-routed with the 131 and 132 so they can take you from at least 85th Street to SODO, and you can transfer to Link anywhere between Pioneer Square and SODO, or transfer to the 124 at Pike Street and the A at TIB. However, the 26 and 28 are notoriously late too, so that may not be better than waiting for Link.

Comments are closed.