Shinkansen In Chandersen's World - Printable Version

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Shinkansen In Chandersen's World - Guest - 04-12-2005

<b>Shinkansen in Chandersen's world</b>

Interesting were the recent reports about Indians getting luxurious, bulbous bow, terrain hugging Shinkansen, a high speed rail network or bullet trains (dangan ressha) as they are known outside Nippon for their blistering pace, for Ahemedabad-Mumbai and Hyderabad route.

Interesting I say, because in Japan's efficient world of Shinkansen, left right and center, they blend in perfectly with other high tech surrounding of building, bridges and cement jungle, but such would not be the case, in case of India, which would look like a Zenaida asiatica (white-winged dove) among the corvus corax (raven), considering the surrounding structures of Indian infrastructure to be incongruous cosmetically, and if that would not be enough, there would be some folks defecating in the open, exposing their genitals to the dismay of high class paying travelers of the future

India ordering bullet train, Is like a Mumbai slum dweller ordering his food from Leela Kempinski - a five star hotel.

Above paragraph should not be taken lightly, For we are not known to produce world class products and buildings (quote Ratan Tata). We try to make them good but never better, leave the best for now. The first impression of any foreigner is that of his landing at Indian Airport, and you know where I am coming from. Look at the Changi Airport of Singapore, Sears Towers, the marvels of quality engineering at its best, and our old fashioned airports with bare basics.

But it does not matter, If bullet train would give us a face lift, so be it, lets go ahead and import them from Japan Rail, lay our tracks and ply them. When our Cambridge educated, blue turban PM has decided to do it, hey, let us all do it, lets join hands and create consensus on this. Japanese Shinkansen travel is exorbitantly expensive for international tourists, imagine a cup of coffee costing 3 dollar plus in Tokyo, against this backdrop India should do more to attract tourists with nation wide bullet train network attracting many more travelers in the process at one-tenth of the cost of Japanese ride, well, so is the coffee price.

But do we have Madam Sonia's nod for such a massive project? Boy, Italy is a high speed train friendly country too, they have ETR 500 series that runs 300 KPH too. Something is amiss that I don't understand. Why Japanese and not Italian? Is Sushi better than Spaghetti and Pasta? It seems so in this case. While Indians have just one model to choose from Italy, Japan on the other hand offers several (0 series, 100,200,300,400,500,700,800, E-1, E-2,E-3, E-4, N700, 700T series) with its impressive record of safety attached as a tag of quality. Milestone indeed with millions of enthusiasts worldwide collecting various bullet train models.

When we talk about Shinkansen, the speed factor comes to the fore instantly, For that is the mainstay of these high velocity trains coupled with comfort and luxury. And as we do not have no proper information of which model GOI would choose among several models going from, and whether they would be diesel to save on overhead electric line (The world's fastest diesel train is the Russian TEP80, at 273 km/h) or electric, Japan Rail/Hitachi have both the versions although diesel is not in vogue in Japan so Keshto would not speculate on this.

Talk about high speed trains, Japan is the Mecca with its vast network full of super fast trains with 300 runs a day on busy network and around 3 billion passenger so far to its credit. Mother of all the high speed rail network, yet running the trains punctually, efficiently and fares reimbursed should the train be late, truly remarkable system with no parallels! Can we expect the same from Indians used to Indian Railways, the biggest employer of India?

Then there is a track issue, High speed trains require new train track that would use no fish plates, it should be welded all the way and laid over thick bed of ballast because of terrible earth shaking velocity.

Last but not the least, its safety factor. When you pay them their price you ought to demand the best, For what is high speed worth sans safety? Japanese engineers have installed seismic monitors on newer lines at every 20 KM, by virtue of being the most earthquake prone country in the world.

On the other hand India is a land of traitors and terrorists who have already demonstrated their prowess in the form of Bombay Bomb Blast where they beat 300 Hindu businessmen of Dalal Street with terror stick. So it is but natural for our GOI to ask the manufacturer about possible installation of some sensors against potential sabotage -- kind of early warning. It should be noted that each bullet train stops (when brakes applied) at about 3 km far, which takes about one minute plus of time.

How easy it would be to derail the super fast train by simply putting an obstacle on the track and make it fall like a nine pins.

We don't want more S-6 compartments on our bullet a la Godhra please!

And finally do Indians have to go with sushi and sake to enjoy bullet trains ride?

Not at all. Remember the old ads for Hebrew National hot dogs -- you don't have to be Jewish to love them.

Shinkansen is not kosher Item, yet it is pride of Japan, newer models have big letters printed on them saying; AMBITIOUS JAPAN.

Think 3D

Kosher Keshto Patel