When it comes to technology, early adoption doesn’t always lead to ongoing efficiency.
Britain’s railway system, for example, is the oldest in the world, with wagonways first built in the 1950s. Now, though, the system is out of date, and proving tricky to improve. Just 34% of British train lines are electrified, the trains and carriages used are 21.1 years old on average, passenger complaints are on the rise and just 62.5% of British trains arrive at station stops on time.
The Japan National Railway, on the other hand, was privatised in 1987, with much work done to improve its infrastructure in the years since. As a result, the average length of delay is just 0.9 minutes on the Shinkansen line, and Japanese trains are built with a lifespan of a maximum of 15 years to keep things new.