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Old October 14th, 2014, 11:39 AM   #1321
Honolulu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 00Zy99 View Post
Apparently, JR East sends 400 trains a day in and out of Tokyo on the Shinkansen.
2) How many trains run on the Tokaido Shinkansen?

0? Tokaido Shinkansen = JR Central, not JR East

4) Will we ever see a train through from Kagoshima to Tokyo?
Apart from technical and logistics problems, there really wouldn't be much of a point to that. The distance from Kagoshima to Tokyo is long enough that most people traveling that route will prefer to take an airplane. There is a very clear sweetspot distance at which HSR becomes viable due to the time it takes compared to the time wasted at an airport and flight time and with the prices especially of the Shinkansen being relatively high it makes no sense to have a Shinkansen all the way from southern Kyushu to Tokyo.
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Old October 14th, 2014, 09:23 PM   #1322
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Japanese are building those new lines very slowly. To save money (avoid loans), I assume. Otherwise the extension to Sapporo could easily be started and finished in 7-8 years.
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Old October 14th, 2014, 10:39 PM   #1323
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Honolulu View Post

4) Will we ever see a train through from Kagoshima to Tokyo?
Apart from technical and logistics problems, there really wouldn't be much of a point to that. The distance from Kagoshima to Tokyo is long enough that most people traveling that route will prefer to take an airplane. There is a very clear sweetspot distance at which HSR becomes viable due to the time it takes compared to the time wasted at an airport and flight time and with the prices especially of the Shinkansen being relatively high it makes no sense to have a Shinkansen all the way from southern Kyushu to Tokyo.
Also, you would only be saving something like 10 minutes.

Currently getting off a Nozomi train at Osaka, Kobe or Okayama and waiting for the Mizuho to Kagoshima is 10–15 minutes.

http://www.hyperdia.com/en/cgi/en/se...d&sum_target=7

The fastest trip I could find was 394 minutes. Even if a through train could cut this down to 380 minutes it would only be one or two trains per day. Mizuho (I think) runs 6 trains daily.

A flight would take (conservatively) 290 minutes (1 hour window at the airport).

The Chuo Shinkansen will change this dynamic dramatically but since you would still incur a transfer at Osaka to regular Shinkansen Mizuho it still wouldn't be a one seat ride. It could reduce the trip within spitting distance of a flight though!!
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Old October 14th, 2014, 11:32 PM   #1324
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Originally Posted by bluemeansgo View Post
Also, you would only be saving something like 10 minutes.

Currently getting off a Nozomi train at Osaka, Kobe or Okayama and waiting for the Mizuho to Kagoshima is 10–15 minutes.

http://www.hyperdia.com/en/cgi/en/se...d&sum_target=7

The fastest trip I could find was 394 minutes. Even if a through train could cut this down to 380 minutes it would only be one or two trains per day. Mizuho (I think) runs 6 trains daily.
Yes, but it is a connection. You cannot settle your body and luggage into the seat and not bother moving till Kagoshima. A connection, even a quick one, is a significant loss of convenience.

For comparison, there are currently 5 CRH trains daily Beijing-Guangzhou. The fastest is 7:59 for 2104 km distance. The other 4 take from 9:14 to 10:01. As well as 5 direct slow speed trains, trip time for 4 of them between 21:00 and 21:47, the fifth is 29:31.
Beijing-Nanning has 2 CRH trains, trip times 13:32 and 13:38, and 3 slow speed trains, trip time 23:46 to 31:04.

How many direct zairaisen trains daily now travel Kagoshima-Tokyo, and what is the trip time?
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Old October 15th, 2014, 04:34 AM   #1325
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
Yes, but it is a connection. You cannot settle your body and luggage into the seat and not bother moving till Kagoshima. A connection, even a quick one, is a significant loss of convenience.

For comparison, there are currently 5 CRH trains daily Beijing-Guangzhou. The fastest is 7:59 for 2104 km distance. The other 4 take from 9:14 to 10:01. As well as 5 direct slow speed trains, trip time for 4 of them between 21:00 and 21:47, the fifth is 29:31.
Beijing-Nanning has 2 CRH trains, trip times 13:32 and 13:38, and 3 slow speed trains, trip time 23:46 to 31:04.

How many direct zairaisen trains daily now travel Kagoshima-Tokyo, and what is the trip time?
Chinese travel is a different beast. If I'm not mistaken, train travel is considerably cheaper than air travel, meaning people are willing to travel much longer distances for longer periods to save money.

The same thing is found in Japan for their overnight buses. They're usually considerably cheaper than Shinkansen and so, as a result, students and discount travellers tend to use them more frequently. In fact, your AVERAGE Japanese person doesn't really ride the Shinkansen that often at all.

Although a connection is an inconvenience, it's an inconvenience for a relatively few number of people. Don't get me wrong, I think there should be one train that goes from Shin-Aomori to Kagoshima... just because it's kind of cool to take a super long distance train at ~300km/h.

However, JR West / JR Kyushu / JR Central actually have a pretty good pattern. As it is, for MOST travellers, there is a direct train with overlap. So... Nozomi will go from Tokyo to Hakata without a forced stop in Osaka.

Mizuho is also an overlapping one-seat ride originating in Osaka to Kagoshima.

MOST Southern Kyushu travellers won't be travelling further than Osaka by train. Most Kanagawa travellers won't be travelling further than Hakata by train.

JR East, on the other hand forces ALL routes to Stop at Tokyo Station. You can't even travel from Yokohama to Ueno (which is far as the trains go before splitting into the various lines.

To me, this is FAR more inconvenient for far more people. If you're north of Tokyo, you can't get to Shinagawa or Yokohama without a transfer. Then again, for short trips, most people probably aren't taking Shinkansen anyhow.

To further fragment things, I believe the Chuo Shinkansen won't even make it as far as Tokyo station. It will stop at Shinagawa. Apparently extending to Tokyo station would be cost-prohibitive.

Apart from being run as separate companies, I wonder if part of the reason for the separation is so that different technologies can be used for different lines. I mean, do you really want to use the E5 on the Tokaido line if you can't take advantage of the line? The e5 was built for the Tohoku line especially, just like the tilting N700 was built for the Tokaido line and the 500 series was originally built for the San-yo line. I believe the trains up to Nagano are purpose built for their weather up there and the Nagasaki line will use FGT trains.
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Old October 15th, 2014, 05:14 AM   #1326
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
Yes, but it is a connection. You cannot settle your body and luggage into the seat and not bother moving till Kagoshima. A connection, even a quick one, is a significant loss of convenience.

For comparison, there are currently 5 CRH trains daily Beijing-Guangzhou. The fastest is 7:59 for 2104 km distance. The other 4 take from 9:14 to 10:01. As well as 5 direct slow speed trains, trip time for 4 of them between 21:00 and 21:47, the fifth is 29:31.
Beijing-Nanning has 2 CRH trains, trip times 13:32 and 13:38, and 3 slow speed trains, trip time 23:46 to 31:04.

How many direct zairaisen trains daily now travel Kagoshima-Tokyo, and what is the trip time?
As a side note. That's an impressive number sustained over a long time. It practically equals the average speeds seen parts of the Tohoku line in Japan. How many stops are on that route?

Average speed of 263km/h between Beijing and Guangzhou (2104 km)
Hayabusa avg is 264 km/h between Omiya and Shin Aomori ( 683 km )
Mizuho averages 257 km/h between Osaka and Hakata (622 km)
Mizuho averages 250 km/h between Osaka and Kagoshima (939 km)
Hayabusa avg is 240 km/h between Tokyo and Aomori (713 km)*

*Tokyo - Omiya is limited to 110km/h

I can see future speed increases to the Tohoku line between Omiya and Aomori as JR East is working towards a max speed of 360 km/h by 2020.
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Old October 15th, 2014, 09:01 AM   #1327
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Higher speeds only work on long stretches of track, where they can be maintained for longer periods. Otherwise a train with a lower top speed but better acceleration would be better. A N700A would not work on the Tohoku Shinkansen, an E5 not on the Tokaido, simply because both were optimised for their territory.
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Old October 15th, 2014, 12:04 PM   #1328
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Yes. That's what I was getting at. To be fair, though,it's not that different train sets would not work, it's that they're not optimized.
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Old October 15th, 2014, 01:14 PM   #1329
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Sure, a Aomori to Kagoshima service would be nice, but if the demand between these two city pairs isn't high enough, it will only see segmented passengers not too different from the status quo. Just about the only thing that would change is the chance for cross territory operations by the operator.
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Old October 15th, 2014, 01:17 PM   #1330
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Exactly. I keep forgetting to use exact formulations to make sure the text exactly expresses what I mean with as less a possible room for interpretation.

With these two specific models it's not just optimisation: The N700A runs on 60Hz power only, the E5 on 50Hz only, so they could run on each others sections even if they wanted to.
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Old October 15th, 2014, 01:45 PM   #1331
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemeansgo View Post
Chinese travel is a different beast. If I'm not mistaken, train travel is considerably cheaper than air travel, meaning people are willing to travel much longer distances for longer periods to save money.
That´s... arguable, at least for G trains.

Tokyo-Hakata: 1069 km

Wuhan-Shenzhen North: 1072 km
17 G trains daily
1 express train, G77, at 4:13, 2 stops
the remaining 16 trains from 4:39 to 5:14, 5 to 10 intermediate stops
Ticket price, second class (5 abreast) - all trains 538 yuan/88 US$
Also 5 slow speed trains, trip time 12:06 to 19:42 (all 5 overnight)
price for hard seat, about 154 yuan/25 US$.

So, how do the prices of Tokaido/Sanyo shinkansen compare with the alternatives - Tokyo-Fukuoka flights, zairaisen direct trains, and buses? What is the zairaisen direct train time?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemeansgo View Post
The same thing is found in Japan for their overnight buses. They're usually considerably cheaper than Shinkansen and so, as a result, students and discount travellers tend to use them more frequently. In fact, your AVERAGE Japanese person doesn't really ride the Shinkansen that often at all.
How do the prices of overnight zairaisen trains compare with overnight buses?
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemeansgo View Post
JR East, on the other hand forces ALL routes to Stop at Tokyo Station. You can't even travel from Yokohama to Ueno (which is far as the trains go before splitting into the various lines.
The problem is forced termination, not forced stop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemeansgo View Post
To me, this is FAR more inconvenient for far more people. If you're north of Tokyo, you can't get to Shinagawa or Yokohama without a transfer. Then again, for short trips, most people probably aren't taking Shinkansen anyhow.
Yes, but long enough trips? Like Sendai-Osaka et cetera?
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemeansgo View Post
To further fragment things, I believe the Chuo Shinkansen won't even make it as far as Tokyo station. It will stop at Shinagawa. Apparently extending to Tokyo station would be cost-prohibitive.
And Chuo Shinkansen is completely incompatible tracks anyway.
What is current opening date of Tohoku Jukan line?
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemeansgo View Post
I believe the trains up to Nagano are purpose built for their weather up there and the Nagasaki line will use FGT trains.
More importantly, the break of frequency is at Tokyo Station. The trains built for Tokaido Shinkansen physically cannot travel to Ueno, because their engines will not work at 50 Hz, and the trains for Tohoku or Niigata Shinkansen physically cannot travel to Shinagawa because their engines will not work at 60 Hz.

However, Nagano Shinkansen is the first Shinkansen to cross frequency break. Does it mean that the trains of Nagano Shinkansen, that are built to cross the frequency break at Karuizawa Station to 50 Hz, can continue to cross the frequency break again at Tokyo Station to 60 Hz and proceed to Kagoshima?
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Old October 15th, 2014, 04:26 PM   #1332
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
However, Nagano Shinkansen is the first Shinkansen to cross frequency break. Does it mean that the trains of Nagano Shinkansen, that are built to cross the frequency break at Karuizawa Station to 50 Hz, can continue to cross the frequency break again at Tokyo Station to 60 Hz and proceed to Kagoshima?
There are a few things that make this impossible at the current moment:
  • As far as I know there aren't any tracks leading through Tokyo station
  • There is a strict 16-car with a specific door placement train only policy on the Tokaido
  • The Tokaido and Nagano Shinkansens use different ATC systems

Note that subseries of both the 200-series and the E2 are 50/60Hz trains, because part of the Nagano Shinkansen already used 60Hz. The novelty of the new Hokuriku Shinkansen is the fact that train switch between 50Hz and 60Hz multiple times during the journey and that some sections of track can be fed with both frequencies (of course not simultaneous).
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Old October 15th, 2014, 05:46 PM   #1333
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What is the zairaisen direct train time?
There is no such train between Tokyo and Kagoshima. The last train to ply that route, the overnight Hayabusa, was cut back to Kumamoto in 1997 due to declining ridership. The whole train was later axed in 2009. Of course, the name lives on with the Tohoku Shinkansen service. People who want to travel that route now fly, which is still pleasant in Japan, unlike the USA. Real cheapskates with plenty of time can take a combination of buses, ferries or the like.
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Old October 15th, 2014, 07:23 PM   #1334
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What is the distance Tokyo-Sapporo by zairaisen?

What I get is 1182,5 km, but the data are confusing, so who can check?
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Old October 15th, 2014, 08:56 PM   #1335
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Ueno - Sapporo is 1214.9 km, basically the Hokutosei train route: Tohoku Main Line, Iwate Galaxy Railway Line, Aoimori Railway Line, Tsugaru-Kaikyō Line, Hakodate Main Line until Oshamambe, Muroran Main Line until Tomakomai, and Chitose Line.

Maybe by full Hakodate Main Line is few kilometers less
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Old October 16th, 2014, 03:13 AM   #1336
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
That´s... arguable, at least for G trains.

Tokyo-Hakata: 1069 km

Wuhan-Shenzhen North: 1072 km
17 G trains daily
1 express train, G77, at 4:13, 2 stops
the remaining 16 trains from 4:39 to 5:14, 5 to 10 intermediate stops
Ticket price, second class (5 abreast) - all trains 538 yuan/88 US$
Also 5 slow speed trains, trip time 12:06 to 19:42 (all 5 overnight)
price for hard seat, about 154 yuan/25 US$.

So, how do the prices of Tokaido/Sanyo shinkansen compare with the alternatives - Tokyo-Fukuoka flights, zairaisen direct trains, and buses? What is the zairaisen direct train time?
  • Buses are usually cheapest for longer routes.
  • Flights are usually on par with Shinkansen (LCCs can be cheaper than Shinkansen)
  • zairaisen (regular trains) aren't really practical at this distance because of the number of transfers

The CHEAPEST that I could find that can get from Tokyo to Fukuoka by train is 11 transfers, 22 hours and ¥13,970.

The faster Limited Express trains (still non-shinkansen) route still is quite a few transfers.

Nozomi Shinkansen is ¥22,950 and 5 hours. 0 transfers.

You can see why people will fly or take Shinkansen for longer trips.

If they could reduce this route down to $88, like the Chinese line does, I'm sure more people would opt to take the train over flying. I don't think you can fly that route in China for $88. It's still a luxury, so more people opt for longer train journeys.

It's a different market.

Also, that is one continuous line. connecting two major metropolises. It's essentially the Tokyo - Osaka of China. (Yes, I realize that you could probably make the same argument for Beijing - Shanghai). Travel patterns are different.

China, I think, has done a really good job on their routing and rail build-out. They had the advantage of doing it all in one shot, but even still... that is NOT an easy task to pull off.

Quote:
And Chuo Shinkansen is completely incompatible tracks anyway.
Yes. That's correct. Since any trip will incur an automatic transfer... if you're going to Kagoshima you might as well take the Chuo line. Nozomi will still force a transfer.

Quote:
More importantly, the break of frequency is at Tokyo Station. The trains built for Tokaido Shinkansen physically cannot travel to Ueno, because their engines will not work at 50 Hz, and the trains for Tohoku or Niigata Shinkansen physically cannot travel to Shinagawa because their engines will not work at 60 Hz.

However, Nagano Shinkansen is the first Shinkansen to cross frequency break. Does it mean that the trains of Nagano Shinkansen, that are built to cross the frequency break at Karuizawa Station to 50 Hz, can continue to cross the frequency break again at Tokyo Station to 60 Hz and proceed to Kagoshima?
Good question. My guess is that they probably technically COULD be engineered to go all the way to Kagoshima.

I guess the other technical challenge would be that someone said that there are NO through tracks at Tokyo station?

If anyone has a track diagram, I'd love to see it.

All this aside, I still think that making Tokyo a through station would reap FAR more benefits than a one seat ride to Kagoshima.
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Old October 16th, 2014, 10:30 AM   #1337
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemeansgo View Post
  • Buses are usually cheapest for longer routes.
  • Flights are usually on par with Shinkansen (LCCs can be cheaper than Shinkansen)
  • zairaisen (regular trains) aren't really practical at this distance because of the number of transfers

The CHEAPEST that I could find that can get from Tokyo to Fukuoka by train is 11 transfers, 22 hours and ¥13,970.

The faster Limited Express trains (still non-shinkansen) route still is quite a few transfers.

Nozomi Shinkansen is ¥22,950 and 5 hours. 0 transfers.

You can see why people will fly or take Shinkansen for longer trips.
Cannot yet see. How do bus trip times and prices compare?
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemeansgo View Post
Also, that is one continuous line. connecting two major metropolises. It's essentially the Tokyo - Osaka of China. (Yes, I realize that you could probably make the same argument for Beijing - Shanghai). Travel patterns are different.
Example of Beijing-Shanghai.
2 trains daily that are not CRH.
The distance on old lines is 1461 km.
The limited express T109 makes 9 stops, and completes the trip in 15:11
The passengers have a choice of 4 travel classes, and 8 different prices.
The option to sit the night in "hard seat" is there, and costs 177,5 yuan/US$ 29.
There are 3 classes of sleepers offered:
"hard sleeper", actually soft, but 3 levels of berths and no doors between compartment and aisle. Upper bunk is cheapest at 304,5 yuan/US$ 50, middle bunk at 315,5 yuan/US$ 52, lower bunk at 325,5 yuan/US 53.
"soft sleeper", with compartment doors and 4 berths per compartment at 2 levels. Upper bunk 476,5 yuan/US$ 78, lower bunk 497,5 yuan/US$ 82.
"deluxe soft sleeper", 2 berths per compartment, still lower and upper, and seats on the opposite side of compartment. 919,5 yuan/US$ 151.
So that limited express is one choice. The other is train number 1461.
29 stops. Trip time 20:14.
Slightly cheaper. Hard seat 156,5 yuan/US$ 26, hard sleeper ranges from upper bunk 283,5 yuan/US$ 46 to lower bunk 304,5 yuan/US$ 50.

So... Tokyo-Sapporo is shorter than the 1461 km Beijing-Shanghai. How much does a direct zairaisen train Tokyo-Sapporo take time and money?
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Old October 16th, 2014, 05:56 PM   #1338
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Quote:
How much does a direct zairaisen train Tokyo-Sapporo take time and money?
The overnight limited express Hokutosei takes 16 hours and 12 minutes Tokyo(Ueno) to Sapporo. Cost is 27,980 yen, including the cheapest open berth charge (B shindai). More deluxe accomodations are extra money. This is a cruise train plain and simple, no business travelers or those who value their time take this. 99% fly.
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Old October 16th, 2014, 06:04 PM   #1339
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There is no direct train between Tokyo and Sapporo, the two remaining overnight trains Cassiopeia and Hokutosei start from Ueno. The cheapest option is a B sleeper berth for 26,900 Yen. Using the Shinkansen and limited express trains is cheaper (24,480 for unreserved seats from Shin-Aomori on, the Hayabusa does not have official unreserved seats).
Of you use the ferry from Oarai in Ibaraki prefecture to Tomakomai on Hokkaido, the fare would be 8.500 for the ferry and 4.350 for trains from Ueno to Oarai and from Tomakomai to Sapporo. Time is about 26 hours, the ferry company offers a combined ticket for 9.990 Yen for their bus service to and from the ports.

There is of course the Seishun 18 Ticket on which one can travel for 2.100 Yen per day on all JR lines, but that's for people with a lot of time and a love for changing trains. During high season, when the Moonlight Nagara between Tokyo and Ogaki is running, you can make it from Odawara (first stop after midnight) to Hakata in one day.
Fares for the direct bus offered by Nishitetsu from Shinjuku to Hakata (14.5 hours) start at 8.300 Yen.

Quote:
If anyone has a track diagram, I'd love to see it.
There is one at an article about the Shinkansen on the Nikkei site:
http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXNAS...20C14A1000000/
The next page has an old diagram before the Tohoku Shinkansen was extended to Tokyo station. I don't have time for elaborations now, sorry. 5 minutes past midnight and time for bed ;-).
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Old October 16th, 2014, 06:07 PM   #1340
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To be perfectly honest, the fare to Fukuoka from Tokyo is cheap for that kind of distance and speed.

Travelling from Malmö to Umeå in Sweden by train takes 11 and a half hours and costs 1315 SEK (18,435 JPY) for a distance of 1,247.0km. This is slow but it is the cheapest one can get for regular trains.

You'll also never be able to compare Chinese and Japanese prices. I mean, look at the average earning power between the two countries. It's a flawed comparison. Of course they'll have to price the CRH lower otherwise they'll not be able to get people to ride it. You should look at the fares as a percentage of median monthly income. Then you'll get a fair comparison.
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