28 November 2010

A Fast Trip Home in Your Future?

Who would want to get from Kofu to Sagamihara in 15 minutes?  Is Japan really in a fiscal position to pay trillions of yen for this convenience?  The few times I have been on a train from Kofu back toward Tokyo (Chuo-sen, via Hachioji toward Shinjuku), the passengers have been mostly groups of older people on excursions, couples with children going to/from a visit to relatives, and hikers and cyclists.  Three weeks ago when I hopped a train back from Kofu on the return from the races at Saiko, I secured my bike bag and took my seat, then a group of 5-6 Japanese touring cyclists boarded a few stops later, at Enzan, and looked enviously at my prime bike bag location.  They needed to walk through to the next car to find a place they could store their bags.

In any event, for any of us who happen to be still in Japan, and still cycling to Yamanashi, in 2020, the trip half way home may get a LOT faster.  These trains have already clocked 581 kph on the test track (even my Garmin 705 does not say I am going THAT fast on my Cervelo).  And after a further eight years of construction, by 2028, the service should go all the way to Tokyo!  Let's hope they manage to include enough space in the Maglev for bike bags!

1 comment:

Manfred von Holstein said...

While I agree it is doubtful Japan needs a Maglev to connect Tokyo and Nagoya, it would be nice to have something a little faster and less cramped to replace or complement the Chuo Line. An ordinary shinkansen line to Matsumoto would do.