In the 1950s, Japan was recovering from the after effects of World War II. The country was focused on growing its economy. A large population resided in the cities of Osaka and Tokyo, which were separated by 320 miles of train tracks. Large amounts of raw material and labor was transported on those rail lines. However, the mountainous terrain and obsolete railway system meant each journey could take up to twenty hours.
So, in 1955, the railway ministry issued a challenge to the nation’s finest engineers: invent a faster train. A prototype was unveiled six months later. Traveling at sixty five miles an hour, it was one of the fastest passenger trains in the world.