By bobp on Nov 08, 2007
There I was standing at the railway station in the city of Odawara, Japan waiting for the express train back to Tokyo. Out of nowhere a N700 bullet train sped by without stopping. I'm estimating it was clocking ~90mph (~145kph) right through the station!!! The N700 bullet train is an engineering marvel. In fact the bullet train system in Japan is a wonderful experience. The service is superb and in my opinion the most efficient means for transportation in and out of Tokyo. Instead of dealing with stop and go traffic in any congested major city of the world, you ride on what feels like a cushion of air. You also see the electric poles on the side of the track flash by you quickly... You know you are going fast. The N700 will top out at ~320kph (~200mph) which is equivilent to the French TGV bullet trains. Previously the N700 was bidding to top out at ~360kph (~224mph) but the East Japan Railway Company decided to scale back due to vibration and environmental concerns. I wanted to take a picture of the train in motion. The pure speed not only startled me but had me in awe of this beautiful machine. The nose of the train is very aerodynamic in appearance. The number of passenger cars attached, fully occupied with passengers, must of numbered ~20. Despite the number of fully loaded cars the N700 appeared to effortlessly move due to momentum and kinetic energy.
The N700 reminds me of the OpenSolaris train that has gathered a lot of speed and momentum during the past 18 months. This train is carrying more passengers (community members) and the acceleration is noticeable. With the OpenSolaris release of the Developer Preview, MMS, Kernel based CIFS Server and yes infamous ephemeral UIDs the validation of open source software keeps building momentum. Furthermore even more technology is yet to come. While a picture may be worth a 1000 words-- I encourage you to look, touch and participate in the millions of lines of source code available to everyone. So you can create your own picture.