Anyone who has ever visited a country with high-speed railway systems will no doubt be envious of how quickly you can travel from one end of the country to the other. There isn’t a more famous railway system than the Japanese bullet trains – called Shinkansen trains natively – and with this in mind, we thought it might be interesting to imagine what Britain would be like if we had a bullet train system.

Bullet Train on rail platform

How fast could you get from A to B? It’s all hypothetical of course, and we’ve seen how difficult it can be to implement the infrastructure needed for such a system given the tricky journey HS2 is on. But what if budget, time and the lay of the land weren’t such an object? Let’s look at how different travel might be for Britain.

 

London to Edinburgh

  • Current Average Time: 5 hours 20 minutes
  • Bullet Train Time: Approx. 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Time Saved: 3 hours 40 minutes

 
London to Leeds

  • Current Average Time: 3 hours 6 minutes
  • Bullet Train Time: Approx. 51 minutes
  • Time Saved: 2 hours 15 minutes

 
London to Manchester

  • Current Average Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
  • Bullet Train Time: Approx. 49 minutes
  • Time Saved: 1 hour 55 minutes

 
London to Cardiff

  • Current Average Time: 2 hours 26 minutes
  • Bullet Train Time: Approx. 40 minutes
  • Time Saved: 1 hour 46 minutes

 
London to Birmingham

  • Current Average Time: 2 hours 1 minute
  • Bullet Train Time: Approx. 30 minutes
  • Time Saved: 1 hour 31 minutes

 
London to Bristol

  • Current Average Time: 2 hours 22 minutes
  • Bullet Train Time: Approx. 32 minutes 
  • Time Saved: 1 hour 50 minutes

 
London to Liverpool

  • Current Average Time: 3 hours 2 minutes
  • Bullet Train Time: Approx. 54 minutes
  • Time Saved: 2 hours 8 minutes

 
London to Norwich

  • Current Average Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
  • Bullet Train Time: Approx. 30 minutes
  • Time Saved: 1 hour 25 minutes

 
London to Penzance

  • Current Average Time: 5 hours 25 minutes
  • Bullet Train Time: Approx. 1 hour 17 minutes
  • Time Saved: 4 hours 8 minutes

 
London to Glasgow

  • Current Average Time: 5 hours 38 minutes
  • Bullet Train Time: Approx. 1 hour 44 minutes
  • Time Saved: 3 hours 54 minutes

 
The figures used to calculate these times are based on the fastest Shinkansen which runs at 320kmh, with the distances used as the crow flies. The current average rail times were based on averages given by Trainline.

As you can see from the potential time saved on many journeys to major British cities, it would be useful to have a faster railway system if both safety and financial security could be guaranteed. 

The Japanese bullet train is a testament to how good we could have it, with zero fatalities since starting in 1964 and providing a major boost to the Japanese economy once the national workforce realised they could earn a city wage but still live in cheaper areas of the country. The only real downside is that travelling by bullet train isn’t always affordable to everyone.

Here at Triptex, we support the construction and maintenance of Britain’s railways with railway safety barrier fencing hire. Take a look at our range of safety fencing options or simply contact us to hire or purchase equipment for your project. We deliver competitively-priced barrier hire within 48 hours to almost anywhere in the UK, helping you meet the demands of your schedule.