UK to have Japanese-style bullet trains within 20 years

December 28th, 2008 - 2:52 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Dec 28 (ANI): The transport minister, Lord Adonis, is planning to introduce Japanese-style bullet trains in the UK.

He said that building a 20 billion pound high-speed line would cut journey times from London to Manchester, one of Britains most congested routes, from 2hr 7min to just 80min.

Adonis came up with the plan after a visit with Iain Coucher, the head of Network Rail, to Japan last month.

Britain has a lot to learn from Japan about high-speed rail. In Japan it has been a powerful force for economic regeneration and national pride. It could be the same in Britain, Times Online quoted the minister, as saying.

Adonis believes that there are striking similarities between Britain and Japan because of relatively small distances between cities and high congestion levels.

Japan introduced the first bullet trains, which now run at up to 186mph, in 1964.

In the UK, the government hopes to run similar trains on an entirely new line. They would be powered by overhead electrical lines, commonplace on high-speed networks in Japan, the United States, France and Spain.

In the long term, a high-speed rail network may be the only way to cope with the growing popularity of rail travel.

In the past, experts have claimed that the distances between our cities are too small to justify investment in really fast trains. But the distance between London and Manchester is similar to Tokyo-Nagoya, Adonis said.

I am analysing the remarkable Japanese success story to help us decide on the best way forward for Britain, Adonis added.

Ministers want to begin work on the new London to Manchester line as soon as possible so that it can be in place within 15-20 years. (ANI)

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