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Wednesday, 11th May 2011
In Japan Travel News,

Bullet train passengers down by 11 per cent

Visitors to Japan catching the legendary bullet train may find it less crowded than usual, as recent figures show an 11 per cent drop-off in passengers after the March 11th earthquake.

Last week saw the Golden Week holiday season, which resulted in a seasonal rise in train travellers, but the numbers were well below last year's total, the Japan Railway Group said.

Furthermore, East Japan Railway reported a 27 per cent drop-off, the steepest decline since the train lines were privatised 24 years ago, according to Kyodo News.

In particular the Tohoku Shinkansen Line, which only resumed full services on April 29th, has seen a 33 per cent year-on-year fall in passengers.

The bullet train, or Shinkansen as the locals call it, is the fastest passenger train in the world, with a top speed of 270 kph (167 mph). At its busiest, it can do 300 journeys per day.

Written by Mark Smith

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