Future Rant Technology

British Ingenuity (or lack of)

Why is it that the Japanese have had bullet trains (Shinkansen) for decades which can travel at over 300 km/h (186 mph) and experimental Maglev trains which have set a world record of 581 km/h (361 mph) while here in Britain our ageing trains rarely reach 130 km/h (80 mph)… are overpriced… unreliable… and overcrowded… you get my point!


Considering we invented the railways it’s a pretty depressing situation. Sometimes I wonder if we just gave up after the Industrial Revolution and decided to leave it to the rest of the world to invent the future!

This is how it should be done!

Interestingly a group called UK Ultraspeed are proposing a network of high speed Maglev trains based on the German Transrapid technology, first used in Shanghai, which would link the major cities of Britain at speeds up to 500 km/h (311mph). Sadly their website is a rather amateur affair which doesn’t add much credibility to their cause, but all the same we painfully need some like this to bring our rail infrastructure into the 21st century.


Originally from the UK, David is designer and wanderer currently based in Kamakura. Prior to this, he lived in China and still returns frequently to continue exploring this vast and varied land. He started Randomwire in 2003 to chronicle his travels and occasional musings. Feel free to drop him a line.

5 Comments Add New Comment

  1. David says:

    Agreed, however that fact that there are no commercial supersonic aircraft in operation today is a huge step backwards. I can't think of another example where something potentially revolutionary has been “uninvented”.

  2. Chen Wu says:

    Good to see you wrote a post about what Britain is lack of. 🙂

    Although Maglev is quite convenient for Shanghai visitors/residents, but I can’t hardly say it’s a success in commercial use.

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