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Shinkansen: High-speed revolution

Be transported by the story of a train that shaped the future of high-speed rail travel around the world.

Interior access to the Shinkansen is not currently available.

Climb on board our bullet train and step back to 1960s Japan, where a revolution in high-speed train travel is underway. Admire the sleek, modern design, make yourself comfortable in the carriage, and see what onboard catering was like on the Shinkansen.

About Shinkansen

In 1964, Japan reinvented passenger railways with the launch of the Shinkansen ('new main line'), the first route dedicated to moving large numbers of people in comfort and at high speed.

The bullet train ran at speeds of up to 130 mph and took a little over three hours to travel the 320-mile line between Tokyo and Osaka. The service was efficient and reliable—on average, bullet trains arrive within 24 seconds of their scheduled time.

After it was withdrawn from service in 2000, JR West generously donated the Shinkansen to our collection. Before arriving in the UK, over 100 people worked to fully restore it to its current condition.

To find out more about Shinkansen, explore our online collection.

Part of the Science Museum Group