Japan launches a new version of its high-speed bullet train this weekend. Named Hayabusa – it means peregrine in Japanese – the new train has an operating speed of 185mph.
Demand for tickets for the first day of service on Saturday has been so great that one was sold on the internet for £2,900. It is the first upgrade of the train in 14 years. For an extra charge, passengers can opt for a GranClass service with leather seats, personal reading lights and leg rests.They will also get free and unlimited alcoholic drinks and light meals. All GranClass tickets for all Hayabusa trains on Saturday sold out in 20 seconds. Japan’s first bullet train entered service in 1964 and had a top speed of 130mph. Since then the fleet has not had a single fatal accident, which is an amazing feat because these trains are so speedy and yet so safe and reliable. Despite the quake in Japan, developments have been carried through.