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serotta1972

World High Speed Trains

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serotta1972

High Speed Trains from Japan, Taiwan, Germany, France and England - all courtesy of Kato.  Who here have been lucky enough to ride more than one of these trains.  I've only ridden the W7 and it's nice and spacious especially the Green Car.  The only other HST I've ridden is the Amtrak Acela which is not represented here but hoping that Bachmann re-releases an N Scale version.  To ride an HST in Germany, France and England is definitely on my bucket list.

 

 

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chadbag
Posted (edited)

I've ridden the W7 (or an E7 -- I don't remember which one).  I hope to get on an ICE of some sort in next year (for a ride).  I saw the original ICE-V prototypes in 1986, before they were in service, when they were on tour in Germany, but have never ridden any ICE, nor any other HST in Germany or Europe as a whole.  When I was in Taiwan I stayed in Taipei area so did not get to ride the 700T.  Would love to do that as well.

 

Nice collection there!

 

Edited by chadbag
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railsquid

3 out of the 5 (various ICEs, W7 and the Eurostar, though back when I did the Eurostar it was the era when it popped up out of the tunnel on the British side straight onto the 3rd rail DC commuter network).

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Kiran
On 6/8/2019 at 10:14 PM, serotta1972 said:

High Speed Trains from Japan, Taiwan, Germany, France and England - all courtesy of Kato.  Who here have been lucky enough to ride more than one of these trains.  I've only ridden the W7 and it's nice and spacious especially the Green Car.  The only other HST I've ridden is the Amtrak Acela which is not represented here but hoping that Bachmann re-releases an N Scale version.  To ride an HST in Germany, France and England is definitely on my bucket list.

 

 

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Not sure what the images are but here are the trains I was on. I lived in England and traveled in Europe quite a bit.

 

England: Pendolino, class 43 HST, HS1, Eurostar (old and new)

France: TGV

Germany: ICE (not sure which version)

Japan: Shinkansen 700 series

US: Amtrak Acela (is it really high speed?)

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serotta1972

@railsquid @Kiran - can you please share your impressions of the other HST’s relative to the Japanese Shinkansens. I rode the Acela prior to my first trip to Japan and it doesn’t even compare to the first train I rode in Japan which was the Narita Express. But the Acela is almost 20 years old so maybe it’s not a fair comparison. Good question, is the Acela even a HST? Well it does go 150 mph on a couple of sections. 

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serotta1972

Oh I forgot, also @chadbag  - your impressions as well please. 

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chadbag

I've not yet ridden on any European HST though 25 years ago I did board an ICE (1) for a moment to look around.  All of my HST experience is on Shinkansens.  That will hopefully change in a year (actually exactly a year from now -- early June 2020).

 

I think Shinkansens are the ones to beat but have no personal experience with anything but.

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railsquid
Posted (edited)

Overall the Shinkansens are way better than anything else I've been on, simply because it's an efficient, highly-integrated network which Just Works (TM) (well most of the time).

 

- frequent service (except maybe at the northern fringes of the network)

- helpful platform markings to show you where to board]

- simple fare structure

- reserved seating is truly reserved

- you are guaranteed to be able to sit facing the direction of travel

- cars are relatively spacious

- polite and helpful staff

- excellent customer information (though you may need to be able to understand Japanese to get the most of it)

 

From memory, and it's been a while, I'd say the ICE and Eurostar interiors are actually nicer than the standard Shinkansen interiors, at least on JR East/JR Tokai, but slightly more cramped as the trains are built to run on the standard network, and as the seats are fixed in place (at least I never came across anything like they have in Japan with rotatable seats) you might end up travelling backwards (which I personally dislike) or stuck at a table seat facing people you don't really want to look at. Then you get things like the train turning up the wrong way round, or half of it's missing, or someone has nicked your reserved seat, or it gets stuck behind a late running non-high-speed train, or the service gets terminated early, or you have to deal with an employee who is having a bad day and gives the impression they wish you, the pesky customer, were dead, etcetera etcetera...

Edited by railsquid
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Kiran
2 hours ago, serotta1972 said:

@railsquid @Kiran - can you please share your impressions of the other HST’s relative to the Japanese Shinkansens. I rode the Acela prior to my first trip to Japan and it doesn’t even compare to the first train I rode in Japan which was the Narita Express. But the Acela is almost 20 years old so maybe it’s not a fair comparison. Good question, is the Acela even a HST? Well it does go 150 mph on a couple of sections. 

Nothing can beat the Shinkansen for ride comfort. I guess ICE comes close. One thing I liked about ICE is the fact that some of them still have an on-board lounge/bar/cafe. I spent a really nice journey drinking beer on a ride from Bonn to Frankfurt airport with my uncle in the bar. That's the other thing. You could fly in to Frankfurt airport and take an ICE train to a lot of cities from the the station under the airport. I don't know why Japan doesn't connect their main airports with the Shinkansen network.

 

I also like the convenience of the Eurostar. I made a ton of day trips from London to Brussels. The newer trains don't have comfortable seats though. They have airport style security checks which is also a bit inconvenient.

 

Both the Class 43 HST and the Virgin Pendolino are capped at 125mph. They are OK. The diesel locos on the class 43 have a pretty interesting sound. I used to commute on them from Reading to London every day and they were always overcrowded.

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railsquid
20 minutes ago, Kiran said:

Nothing can beat the Shinkansen for ride comfort. I guess ICE comes close. One thing I liked about ICE is the fact that some of them still have an on-board lounge/bar/cafe. I spent a really nice journey drinking beer on a ride from Bonn to Frankfurt airport with my uncle in the bar. That's the other thing. You could fly in to Frankfurt airport and take an ICE train to a lot of cities from the the station under the airport. I don't know why Japan doesn't connect their main airports with the Shinkansen network.

 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narita_Shinkansen

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JR 500系

Lovely roster Junior! 

 

While I haven't gotten any experience riding other high speed rails apart from Japan, I did took a trip on China's HSR... and while they are supposed to be almost identical to the comfort of the Japanese Shinkansen, I really cant say I enjoyed the ride as much as I did on the Japanese one, even though I rode on the China's First class HSR... the sound of the engine made me feel I was riding a subway train instead, and yes there were much more vibrations to my tea over the Japanese Shinkansens… 

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serotta1972

Speaking of China’s HST, Model Train Plus has the Kunter CRH380AL on Pre-Order. I’ve seen Kunter’s other products owned by Railtunes and are of good quality. Looks like I’ll be adding a Chinese HST to my fleet.

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