These are fed into a centralized earthquake early warning system that stops not only Shinkansen, but other trains, elevators, alerts surgeons in hospitals, sends out broadcast push notifications to phones, etc. The system is so fast that the notifications arrive to areas beyond the epicenter before the seismic waves themselves, giving people and devices precious seconds to prepare 
Compare the number of seismographs in Japan https://www.jma.go.jp/jma/en/Activities/image/earth-fig02.pn...
To California (only the green ones exist, blue are proposals) https://cdn.kqed.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/35/2018/10/CA_...
TBF, even Twitter is a "notification system fast enough to arrive in areas before the seismic wave". There's been numerous reports of twitter users seeing tweets about an earthquake before experiencing the shock wave.
Building a system that can do that reliably is an engineering feat but we're talking on the order of 10s of seconds, not milliseconds.
Unlike in (most?) stations in Japan, there are no gates between platforms and track.
I was standing maybe two-three meters away. (Took a step back initially out of fear of aerodynamic effects.) Damn, that was impressive! The roar, ground shaking, and how fast it was gone.
On a later ICE trip over that track, I observed that the train was doing 200 km/h at that point. ICEs can go 250-300 or so (on suitable tracks, which aren't many) based on model.
I personally think Caltrain still ranks well in terms of an impressive experience watching it pass.
Generalising to any shinkansen line. To experience this effect, you'd need to take a sub-express train (still very fast) to/from a station where the fastest train doesn't stop.
Well, when you can get political, social, and financial factors in the US to give input to <xyz> rail system that such a kind of train service is desired and worth the cost/benefit valued by those parties, then we'll have it.
Otherwise, we're stuck with Amtrak for the moment.
Thinking about it, it feels a bit like a modern company. Instead of managers wanting to show that they did something good to get a raise, instead we have politicians that try to show that they did something good to get reelected.
Maybe you're just trolling; I can't really tell.
Mind naming some ?
Europe is relatively homogeneous ethnically and racially compared to the US. The exception could be largest metropolitan areas, but even there I'd say US is more heterogeneous.
Not saying anything in support of arguments related to this just saying I don't know what plenty of places you'd compare to US.
Spain is the obvious one that stands out.
Also it's not really a good example of efficient public projects or a well functioning state compared more developed EU countries or the US.
Turns out driving a car across the US is faster than Amtrak, even with an overnight stop at a hotel.
AZ -> IL:
26 hours by car + 8 hour hotel stay
35 hour train ride.
$120-150 gas + $100 hotel
$600 train ticket
Air: $628 and about 5 hours (security, parking, etc)
Train: $312 for coach, 21 hours (driving on each end)
Train: $750 for a room for four
My van: $120 gas, no hotel, 12 hours door to door w/ stops.
Heck, I could pay someone to drive my van for me for about $150 each way, and still break even with the train but save time.
For what it's worth a proper high speed train could do a 10 hour run at 300-350 km/h. Not exactly the ~900 km/h of your typical airplane, but at least you 'll have a decent seat over the travel time.
To most Europeans a >10h drive sounds excessive, and that might be the case in certain parts of Europe, but the U.S. is (perhaps unfortunately, from an environmental perspective) built around the automobile, and the driving experience here is somehow different (i.e. easier).
I've driven in Germany and while I enjoyed spending hours cruising on the Autobahn (A-8), parts of the journey involved driving on tiny, narrow roads in small towns. Those segments were frustrating. I haven't yet tried it, but I don't think I'd be able to drive > 5 hours in Europe (but I could be wrong).
Also keep in mind 1700 miles at the IRS standard deduction of 55 cents a mile is $935. Assuming your car seats four (and all four seats are in use) that breaks down to just under $200/person.
Whoa, WTF? In Europe, it's 8 hours regularly with 2x a week allowance of 10 hours (to be used e.g. in case of massive traffic jams), followed by at least 11 hours.
Additionally, who says you're actually able to drive safely after 13 hours and react to something like, let's say, a child hopping in front of your car and that you just have been extremely lucky?
But it still works out, because driving is also expensive - the highway network in Japan is privatized, and the tolls are pretty steep. The tolls for the same trip as above are $40. Add to that the cost of gas and parking, and driving only ends up being cheaper once you're several people sharing a ride.
Because the geography of the US is quite different from Japan. In Japan you follow the coasts to reach each city: it's a straight line to simplify things. In the US you would need a lot more tracks to cover the territory, and tracks are super expensive to build and maintain.
That is almost entirely due to issues with politics and public policy. The actual physical construction of the rails would easily be the most simple part of the process. As you pointed out, maintenance would have costs, but it's not like existing rails don't include similar costs as well. Certainly there are many parts of the US where those costs would be lower than the equivalent in Japan anyway, since their climate is generally more temperamental than say, almost anywhere along the US West Coast.
It was a choice in the US to build the free-to-use interstate system just as it was a choice in Japan to build the shinkansen. The highway system in Japan is not free; it is tolled and it costs roughly the same in tolls for a single person to drive vs use the shinkansen. Local trains in most cities are good too. With these policies, applied over decades, trains became the default mode of transportation.
Also, Japan is very mountainous making it probably one of the most expensive countries To build rail in. But it’s a moot point because they managed to build up a national highway system as well as a it national train system, I think proving that it’s a matter of policy and not geography.
The other common argument is difference in population density, but this also misses the mark for 2 reasons. First of all, the US had a pretty impressive network of rail before it has an impressive highway system, it’s just mostly used for freight now and policy for public transportation shifted to roads. Second, at least the 2 coasts have high population density more or less covered by a straight line which ought to be well served by fast trains.
The solution to that has been to make some cars women-only.
And dedicated cars is a disappointing solution. Unfortunately, having any witness call out the perpetrator and let the crowd break the perps fingers is not a very suitable solution, either.
A more obvious step is to limit the occupancy of a car. I've been smashed into the crowded cars. It's a bad idea for more reasons than this. But if you cut the occupancy to 1/3, you have to run 3x as many cars. Maybe start by charging 2x for rush hour or otherwise peak times to pay for 2x the trains. Of course, there is a limit to the number of cars you can put on a track. But if it takes more money to build more capacity, raise prices.
It's not a problem easily solved with a single paragraph on HN. "Dedicated cars for women" takes a lot less thought and accomplishes much. It just doesn't address the real social problem.
I got such a kick out of the "slow" shin still being worlds better than anything here in the USA.