Imagine, Nashville to Memphis in 40 minutes

A Japanese train just set a record speed of 366 miles per hour. In service, the train is expected to only operate at 313 mph. Still, that’s faster than some airplanes. Imagine traveling from Nashville to Memphis in 40 minutes without having to deal with the hassle of an airport, without ever climbing into the sky. I have not ridden on a passenger train since my time in Italy, which was a very long time ago. I remember them as efficient and reliable, but by today’s standards they were slow and clunky. Many times I traveled the Naples to Rome route, which was 214 kilometers, or around 134 miles. Depending on the type of train you took, it could take 3 hours to make that journey if there were a lot of intermediate stops. One time (circa 1989) I took the rapido from Rome to Naples in something like 89 minutes, which put us close to 100 mph. It felt like we were riding on air we were going so fast. Yet the Japanese now have a set of wheels that will travel more than three times that fast. If you’re looking to enjoy the scenery, perhaps this isn’t the way to go. I figure everything will be a blur. But if you’re looking to go from A to B in as little time as possible, well, I’m on board with that.

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