Japan to Expand Overseas with New High-Speed Train

October 27, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. reminiscent / ˌrɛm əˈnɪs ənt / (adj.) – describing something that reminds someone of something
Example: The new train’s design is reminiscent of the first model released 50 years ago.

2. derive / dɪˈraɪv / (v.) – to come from a source
Example: The train derived its name from the city.

3. phase out / ˈfeɪzˌaʊt / (v.) – to be deleted or removed from production
Example: The company announced that it will phase out its SC10 motorbikes.

4. underway / ˈʌn dərˌweɪ / (adj.) – currently happening
Example: The production of new train models is underway.

5. subsidiary / səbˈsɪd iˌɛr i / (n.) – a company under another company
Example: Our company is a subsidiary of a large corporation.


Read the text below.
Japanese company JR Tokai plans to expand overseas with its N700S bullet train model.

The N700S will be used to connect Tokyo and Osaka. It is set to be released in 2020, the year when Tokyo will host the Olympics. The release will be reminiscent of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics when the very first Tokaido bullet trains became operational.

The new train has several upgrades from the previous models. It is lighter and has lower energy consumption.  It will also have a standard design in all train cars, which will make it easier for the company to produce higher-quality trains at a lower cost. It also means that the train set can be shipped overseas more easily. 

JR Tokai sees the N700S as the key to expanding in international markets. The company intends to sell the N700S to Taiwan to replace its current train, derived from an old JR Tokai train set that is about to be phased out. It will connect Taiwan’s capital in the north to a city in the south.

The company is also looking into expanding its business beyond Asia. In the United States, a bullet train project by Texas Central Partners (TCP) connecting Dallas and Houston is currently underway. A JR Tokai subsidiary and the TCP are working on it and are planning to start service by 2021. 

Research predicts that the demand for high-speed trains will increase over time due to its speed and reliability. In fact, other countries have also invested in high-speed trains. With almost 12,000 miles of high-speed rail lines, China is the world record holder for the most number of high-speed train lines. While in Europe, France boasts of high-speed trains connecting to other countries like Germany and Italy.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Discuss the possible impact of high-speed trains (e.g. economic).
·         Would you want your country to be connected to other countries by high-speed train? Why

Discussion B

·         What are the benefits of sharing a country’s technology internationally?
·         Do you think businesses should remain local or go international? Why?

October 27, 2016