Tōkaidō Shinkansen

Government approval of the Shinkansen project in December 1958 allowed construction of the line between Tokyo and Osaka to begin in April 1959 at an estimated cost of ¥200 billion. The final price was nearly double the original figure.

Completed in time for the 1964 Olympics the 515.4 km line began service on 1 October 1964, cutting the trip between Tokyo and Osaka from six hours and forty minutes to four hours. 

By 1965, it was down to just over three hours, and the service had an immediate impact, carrying one hundred million passengers up to 13 July 1967, and passing the one billion mark in 1976. 

Today, with up to thirteen sixteen car 1,323 seat trains per hour in either direction it's the world's busiest high-speed rail line.

 As a result of the line's success, it was extended westward to connect ShinŌsaka with Hakata Station in Fukuoka (the Sanyō Shinkansen).

Route details and maps:

© Ian Hughes 2017