The dramatic-looking Shinkansen 500-series was the very first train in the world to break 300km/h on its regular route (between Tokyo and Osaka), and after 13yrs blasting flat-out across the Japanese countryside, it was retired from ultra-high speed service on the weekend. As reported on the Muza-Chan blog, lots of fans gathered in Tokyo and Osaka to bid farewell to the mighty train. The Tokyo-Osaka run will continue to be serviced by the less elegant, duck-billed 700 series Shinkansen (which is equally fast).
The 500-series will remain in service, but on a slower line which won’t require it to stretch its 320km/h legs. Have a rest, big fella.