Sugarhill, Sorry, I misunderstood what you meant. I'm not really sure when other countries began developing their systems, so I did a little checking.
Japan's Bullet Train came into being in 1964. According to Wikipedia, they began discussing these types of trains in the 1930s. There was this little problem of a war that got in the way though. The article says that in 1957 Japan developed the first real high speed train which could go 90 mph. That was when they began to reconsider the project. Approval came in 1958 and the first trains were in service by 1964.
What's interesting is that the author says that many people believed trains were on the way out. They figured cars and airplanes would replace them. Considering how the trolley and train system in the San Francisco Bay Area was wiped out in the mid-1950s, you can see that it was losing favor elsewhere as well.
I from the article that Germany was the first to develop high speed rail. They had an electrical line in 1903 that went 126 miles per hour. In the 1930s, they moved to a diesel powered system. Spain and then, France, were next. But, the Japanese Shinkansen line was a breakthrough at 210 mph. Tests in 1963 showed they could go as fast as 256 mph. These were the Bullet Trains. They were considered a breakthrough because of the length of their route and the fact that they could be run on a schedule which made them an alternative for mass transportation on a daily basis instead of a novelty.
BART's planning began in 1957--the same year Key System went out of business in the San Francisco Bay Area. Construction began in the last 1960s and the first line from Oakland to Fremont was opened in 1972. So, really, this system didn't start construction until a couple of years after the Shnkansen system was already in place.
It's an interesting history: