Japan Wants To Sell Us Its Bullet Trains

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Japanese high speed train company JR Central wants to expand its international operations, the FT reports:

The biggest operator of Japan’s high-speed Shinkansen “bullet” trains has launched a push to export the technology to the rest of the world, hoping to beat European rivals to fast-growing markets including North America and the Middle East.

JR Central. which carries more Shinkansen passengers than any other operator, says it has formed a consulting division to sell the technology, in a move that will increase competition for the TGV system of France’s Alstom and Siemens’s Velaro.

The company uses its own dedicated rail system. In North America it could lay down all new tracks, since there are fewer existing lines.

We wonder if this strategy will work out for JR Central. For all the hoopla around high speed trains in the United States, our understanding was that we’d bulk up our commuter and regional rail, making it possible later on for high speed trains to travel along those rails.

If JR Central is laying down its own tracks, then only JR Central trains would be able to ride on them. Since France’s Alstom, and Canada’s Bombardier make the trains for Amtrak’s fastest trains, we think there would be a conflict. Of course, we could be wrong, so please correct us below.

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