Ever since the earliest steam locomotives chugged down the tracks, there’s always been something intriguing about riding the rails. However, the days of prospectors and hobos traversing the land in railway cars are long past, and those noisy old locomotives have been replaced by the technological wizardry of the modern-day bullet train.
The first high-speed rail lines opened in Japan in 1964. Europe was soon to follow, with France and Italy installing their own high-speed rail lines in the early 1980s. Today, high-speed rail has developed into one of the easiest and quickest forms of land travel. More than 45 years since the first lines were laid, the Paris-based International Union of Railways estimates that there are 6,673 miles of passenger train lines in operation around the world on which trains can travel at speeds of more than 155 miles per hour, which is the union’s standard for high-speed rail.
High-speed trains transport passengers across mo