The shinkansen (SHEEN
KAN SEN) whooshes almost silently into Tokyo Station.
Foreigners have nicknamed these Japanese trains "bullet
trains" because of their high speed and shape.
Ordinarily a locomotive pulls a
train. Bullet trains however, using high-speed rail
technology, have wheels that are powered individually. This
distributes their weight evenly and allows them to reach a maximum
speed of 130 miles per hour.
An average trip on a bullet
train from the city of Tokyo to the city of Osaka takes three
hours and fifteen minutes.
Japan is presently
developing a new train that may travel up to 300 miles per
hour. This train however, will have no wheels! It will
float above the tracks, propelled down the rails by magnetic