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11250Re: "Biden rolls out $1.3 billion for Amtrak"

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  • Karen Sandness
    Mar 15, 2009
      I can confirm that the Shinkansen uses dedicated tracks. Their
      distinguishing characteristics are being welded together, to avoid the
      bumpiness caused by joints and ties, and being laid so as to avoid
      significant changes in elevation. The designers make extensive use of
      tunnels and elevated tracks to avoid steep grades or switchbacks.

      In Tokyo, the Shinkansen uses existing stations (Tokyo and Ueno), but
      in other cities, if the conventional main station is somehow
      inconvenient, there's a station exclusively for the Shinkansen,
      indicated by the prefix "Shin." That's why the Shinkansen stops at
      Shin-Yokohama, Shin-Osaka, and Shin-Kobe, among others, but at plain
      old Kyoto and Nagoya. This being Japan, the "Shin" stations are
      connected to the conventional rail stations by frequent subways or
      surface trains.

      There are three grades of Shinkansen trains. On the oldest line, the
      Nozomi runs the entire length from Tokyo to Hakata/Fukuoka with few
      stops, the Hikari adds a couple of extra stops and rarely runs the
      entire length, and the Kodama never runs more than half the length of
      the route and stops at every possible station. The other lines have
      comparable trains with different names.

      Anybody who's still thinking "U.S.A. Number One!" is sadly out of date.

      In transit,
      Karen Sandness
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