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Page first written 20 September 1999
Last updated 2 October 2002
Good-bye, Series 0. Then, where is the next era?
Zammai Coverstory No. 6
The recent news in Japanese rail industry is that Series 0 is to be withdrawn from Tokaido Shinkansen service. Series 0 is said to be the "original" first-generation fleet of Shinkansen. Actually, considering the fact that Series 0 cars were manufactured for more than 20 years, the fleet is not necessarily "original" in a strict sense. Nevertheless, it was the "one-and-only" Shinkansen; it had great impact on the minds of postwar Japanese in many different ways. Therefore, the withdrawal of Series 0 surely marks the end of an era. However, here comes the question: what comes next? Although Series 0 is withdrawn, the Tokaido Shinkansen is still running on the top of the Japanese railway system as a shining star, 30 years after its completion. Is this not a problem? Heavier traffic, ageing infrastructure... There is absolutely no alternative modes of transport at all. Under current circumstance Tokaido Shinkansen must run without interruption. I believe it is time we start prepararation for the new "star", and let Tokaido Shinkansen take a rest.
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TAKAGI, Ryo email@example.com (c) R. Takagi 1999 - 2002. All rights reserved.