2011/03/09

Peregrine Falcon

Regular readers know I am a big fan of Shinkansen trains.

The latest addition to JR East (East Japan Railway Company) is the Hayabusa (Peregrine Falcon), a Shinkansen service from Tokyo to Shin-Aomori in the far north of Honshu. The new train, which started service on March 5th, has a top speed of 300 kph (186 mph) and even with stops covers the 675 km in 3 hours 10 minutes.



Here's an ad for the first class service:



Even the regular cars have 5 across seating and are upgraded with a seat pitch of 1,040 cm (41 inches) for plenty of leg room, adjustable head rests, and power outlets at every row for your computer or mobile phone charger.

The newest Shinkansen trains produce a fraction of the greenhouse gasses of aircraft or other forms of transportation while being as fast and even more convenient and comfortable.

The Hayabusa is the world's most energy efficient train, being more than 10% more efficient that previous Shinkansen models. JR East has a target to reduce the company's CO2 emissions by 32% by 2018 and by 50% by 2031. Power to the train comes from a mix of sources including JR East's own hydro-electric plant, their own gas fired thermal plant, and from other companies that use wind, solar, coal, nuclear, and oil.

*post updated 2011/03/10

16 comments:

Martin J Frid said...

Nice. I like how they invest in this even though economically, things are very iffy, not just in Japan but around the world.

People who need to move should avoid jets and take the train instead.

Pandabonium said...

Martin - sure makes more sense than building more highways and un-needed airports. Now if they can just ramp up the renewable energy sources...

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Hey, what's happening in Japan today, sounds awful - a huge earthquake and tsunami. Are you okay?

Pandabonium said...

Thanks Wendy. We're OK, though we have some damage to our roof and big mess to clean up in the house. This was the strongest quake I've ever experienced. We're still feeling fairly big aftershocks. At the epicenter it was a 7.9 Richter.

nzm said...

W & K: we're looking at the devastation right now on TV. Prayers to you all.

Jen and Michele

HappySurfer said...

PandaB, happy to know you are okay. Was thinking of you and MM when I first saw it on tv.

Arkonbey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Arkonbey said...

Glad to hear you're okay. I listened to BBC News Hour on the way to town this morning (after your email) and was horrified by the description of the damage.

How's Momo taking it?

To lighten the mood: with my sound turned down the passenger seemed to say "thank you" rather than "arigato" in response to her beverage arrival. So much for my lip reading skills. Wish we had comfy high-speed rail here...

Anonymous said...

Glad to see you guys are doing well after the quake.Have you gang taken precautions for the potential meltdown @ the nuclear plant?

Pandabonium said...

Thanks. There is a lot of disinformation out there about the nuclear reactors. There is little chance of any event that would affect the health of people in Japan.

Anonymous said...

Ward, I thought of you and glad to hear that you are OK. I am Jack Harris, Fr. horn from Taft days. I hope you and your family the best in this tragedy.

--Jack
"cleanjack@charter.net"

Pandabonium said...

Thanks, Jack! We're safe and coping.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ward, Glad to hear that you guys are are OK there. It's unbelievable what's going on there, how does everybody even begin to get back to some kind of normalcy.

Reena (from India)

Pandabonium said...

Reena,

Thank you so much. So good to hear from you again. Yes, I think "normalcy" is a long way off yet. I am just grateful that we have come through this together. My feelings swing between the joy of surviving and the deep sadness for the thousands who did not and their loved ones who grieve.

I hope you and your family are well.

Reena said...

You are not in Tokyo right? I hope you aren't closer to areas that were worst affected?

Pandabonium said...

Arkonbey - The woman in the ad is a famous retired actress who still has a big following of fans (mostly men my age).

Momo barks or sometimes whimpers when we have an aftershock, but she's otherwise happy.

Reena - We are not in Tokyo but a much smaller town. The areas worst hit were north of us, but our prefecture, Ibaraki, still had significant damage - but thankfully not a high loss of life.