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Old August 4th, 2013, 09:18 AM   #1381
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New JR East restaurant train to enter service on 2013.10.19
JR東日本、レストラン車両「Tohoku Emotion」八戸線で運転…10月19日から

http://response.jp/article/2013/07/29/203154.html

Official JR East press release:
http://www.jreast.co.jp/press/2013/20130718.pdf

On 2013.07.29, JR East announced that the new Tōhoku Emotion service, a restaurant train for the Hachinohe Line aimed at helping revitalize the Tōhoku region, would begin revenue service on 2013.10.19, operating a total of 33 days on weekends and holidays through to 2014.03.30.

The trainset features a specially refurbished 3-car Kiha 110 series set. Car 1 (capacity: 28 pax) features 7 compartment spaces, Car 2 is the open kitchen, and Car 3 (capacity: 20 pax) is the open dining space. The entire train is designed as a restaurant space, and passengers can see the food, featuring local ingredients, being prepared in Car 2.

The service will operate one roundtrip a day on the Hachinohe Line between Hachinohe and Kuji (久慈). The lunch course departs Hachinohe at 11:05 am, arriving at Kuji at 12:49 pm, while the dessert buffet departs Kuji at 14:08 and arrives at Hachinohe at 15:47. The schedule for April 2014 and after is currently TBD. One-way lunch course in the open dining space is ¥7,000 for adults, ¥6,400 for kids. Compartment spaces are an additional ¥3,000 per compartment.









===

While dining cars used to be widespread, the speed-up of train service has eliminated the need for dining cars on virtually all trains in Japan. However, dining on trains has been seeing a resurgence of sorts as part of tourism efforts. The most recent example is the new restaurant train on the Hisatsu Orange Railway (Kagoshima Main Line) in southern Kyūshū:

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Old August 4th, 2013, 05:42 PM   #1382
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The restaurant train on the Hisatsu Orange Railway is very nice, but I really have to ask this question: how come Hisatsu are using almost exclusively diesel multiple units instead of electric multiple units, given the fact the Hisatsu line is still used by JR Freight with electric locomotives?
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Old August 10th, 2013, 07:26 AM   #1383
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As we all know, around March 2015 the Hokuriku Shinkansen--essentially the line extension from Nagano to Kanazawa--will officially open.

While of course trains like Thunderbird and Shirasagi will likely end at Kanazawa, the Hakutaka will be discontinued, and the Hokuetsu also discontinued, there's still the issue of the "gap" between the cities of Jōetsu and Niigata. Will JR East assign fast limited express trains between Naoetsu and Niigata Stations to cover the gap, such as using 653 trainsets?

Last edited by sacto7654; August 10th, 2013 at 07:29 AM. Reason: correct wording
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Old August 10th, 2013, 07:16 PM   #1384
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sacto7654 View Post
The restaurant train on the Hisatsu Orange Railway is very nice, but I really have to ask this question: how come Hisatsu are using almost exclusively diesel multiple units instead of electric multiple units, given the fact the Hisatsu line is still used by JR Freight with electric locomotives?
According to the Japanese Wiki, they wanted to avoid the high-cost of electric trains.

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Originally Posted by sacto7654 View Post
While of course trains like Thunderbird and Shirasagi will likely end at Kanazawa, the Hakutaka will be discontinued, and the Hokuetsu also discontinued, there's still the issue of the "gap" between the cities of Jōetsu and Niigata. Will JR East assign fast limited express trains between Naoetsu and Niigata Stations to cover the gap, such as using 653 trainsets?
I'm not sure there would be enough demand for a shortened limited express on the legacy track between Jōetsu‒Myōkō and Niigata via Naoetsu. There's only a handful of Hokuetsu trips a day, so I suspect they would just operate a modified Kubikino rapid service that provides decent connections timewise with the Shinkansen at both ends.
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Old August 10th, 2013, 08:34 PM   #1385
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
I'm not sure there would be enough demand for a shortened limited express on the legacy track between Jōetsu‒Myōkō and Niigata via Naoetsu. There's only a handful of Hokuetsu trips a day, so I suspect they would just operate a modified Kubikino rapid service that provides decent connections timewise with the Shinkansen at both ends.
That's true now, but once the Hokuriku Shinkansen line opens, I expect higher demand for ridership between Kanazawa-Toyama corridor and Niigata. As such, I do think they'll run more rapid service between Jōetsu‒Myōkō (aka Wakinoda) Station and Niigata Station, probably routed through Nagaoka (e.g., it'll be mostly through the Shin'etsu Main Line). It'll be very interesting to see what trainsets they use this run, especially now with the 485's now retiring everywhere. That's why I think they'll use 653's soon to be assigned to the Niigata-Akita Inaho service to this run.
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Old August 15th, 2013, 06:02 AM   #1386
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The Hakone-Tozan Railway mountain trains on summer afternoon:
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Old August 19th, 2013, 06:39 AM   #1387
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JR Kyūshū planning new tourist train for Nippō Main Line, Kyūdai Main Line
JR九州「スイーツ列車」運行へ

http://kyushu.yomiuri.co.jp/entame/r...OYS8T00628.htm

JR Kyūshū will introduce a new tourist train service between Beppu (Beppu City, Ōita Prefecture) on the Nippō Main Line and Bungo Mori (Kusu Town, Ōita Prefecture) on the Kyūdai Main Line in 2016 or 2017. The train will be branded as a “sweets train”, allowing passengers to enjoy confections on-board, and will target female customers, taking advantage of synergistic benefits with the hot springs resorts along the route in Beppu and Yufuin. The railway will also consider introducing a similar new train service to the Ōmura Line in Nagasaki Prefecture.

The new service will be designed primarily by industrial designer Mitooka Eiji, but the railway will also seek input from other experts. The railway will also cast a wide net among pastry chefs and makers of traditional Japanese confections, and it’s expected that the train will offer both food and tea service.



The railway already operates nine tourist trains including the Asoboi! (あそぼーい!) and the Hitoyoshi (SL人吉) steam locomotive. A trip on the Hitoyoshi (2012.11.16):



The Let’s Take the A Train (A列車で行こう) service (2012.02.11):

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Old August 19th, 2013, 06:40 AM   #1388
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Akune Station to undergo full renovation
肥薩おれんじ鉄道の阿久根駅舎 来春の開業10周年に向け全面改修

http://www.nishinippon.co.jp/nnp/kag.../article/32683

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Hisatsu Orange Railway (肥薩おれんじ鉄道), the third-sector railway operating on the Kagoshima Main Line between Satsuma Sendai City in Kagoshima Prefecture and Yatsushiro City in Kumamoto Prefecture, Kagoshima Prefecture’s Akune City announced on 2013.08.12 that it will carry out a full-scale renovation of Akune Station. The design will be handled by Mitooka Eiji, who also designed the railway’s popular Orange Restaurant train that recently began service.

The new station will be a 470 sq m (currently 290 sq m) wooden two-story structure with a 46-seat open-air café, reading room, waiting room, and tourist information center, as well as a 20-seat restaurant using local ingredients and a kids’ corner. The waiting room is planned to feature reading material popular among railfans and books donated by citizens. The new station will also feature several chairs and desks to cater to the students who comprise 70% of the station’s ridership, as well as a small event space.

The current station building was built in 1953 and has undergone several renovations in its lifetime. The railway will hand it over to the city at no cost to allow them to renovate it. Work will begin in October and be completed by February, at a cost of approx. ¥100 million to ¥150 million, with the Prefectural Government funding ¥70 million of the cost. The new station will open on 2014.03.13.



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Old August 19th, 2013, 06:41 AM   #1389
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Former Fresh Hitachi E653 series trains to begin operating on Inaho this fall
羽越線特急「いなほ」に新車両

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/otona/railw...OYT8T00360.htm

Starting this autumn, JR East will introduce new secondhand rolling stock to the Inaho limited express linking Niigata and Akita. The trains are E653 series sets that previously operated on the Jōban Line’s Fresh Hitachi limited expresses but have undergone refurbishments for their new duties, including increasing the number of seats and augmenting the capacity of the train’s heating systems to deal with the snow on the Uetsu Main Line.

The trains will replace the 485 series currently used the on the Inaho, which are now about 35 years old and beginning to show their age. In comparison, the E653 series are only about 15 years old, despite being secondhand units. The exterior will feature a new orange paint scheme reminiscent of the sun setting on the Sea of Japan. The trains will be 7-car formations with 16 to 18 Green Car seats and 366 to 410 standard seats. Seat pitch in the Green Cars is a roomy 1.80 m, and the trains will feature lounge spaces to enjoy the outside scenery.

The lightweight aluminum bodies will also improve acceleration and are expected to reduce travel times. The railway will counter strong winds during the winter season with trackside improvements, including increasing the number of wind fences and anemometers.



===

Set U-101 deadheading at Oyama and Tomobe on the Mito Line (2013.06.25):

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Old August 20th, 2013, 03:22 PM   #1390
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The 485's are getting WAY up there in years and in desperate need of replacement. Indeed, I think the last stand of the 485 will be in Hakuchō service between Aomori and Hakodate Stations, and they will be phased out once the Hokkaido Shinkansen service starts in March 2016.
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Old August 20th, 2013, 04:42 PM   #1391
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There will still be 485 series on Hokuetsu and Kunibiki services, though the future of the former is unclear with the upcoming opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen. Not to mention the units in service at certain depots for charter runs.
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Old August 21st, 2013, 02:14 AM   #1392
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k.k.jetcar View Post

There will still be 485 series on Hokuetsu and Kunibiki services, though the future of the former is unclear with the upcoming opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen. Not to mention the units in service at certain depots for charter runs.
My guess is that remaining 485's will be scrapped for spare parts or rebuilt as Joyful Train excursion trainsets (a good number of 485's were converted this way). (I'm actually surprised that JR East hasn't talked about rebuilding now-retired 651 trainsets into Joyful Train units for excursion use in the Tohoku region.)
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Old August 21st, 2013, 07:08 AM   #1393
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Sōjitz, Larsen & Toubro consortium win contract for Indian freight rail corridor
http://www.indiablooms.com/BusinessD...ils200813e.php

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New Delhi, Aug 20 (IBNS) The Sojitz-L&T Consortium has signed an EPC rail contract with the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL) for the construction of 626 km of a double track corridor from Rewari in Haryana to Iqbalgarh in Gujarat, via Rajasthan.

The Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL) is a special purpose vehicle of the Indian Railways and has awarded a part of India’s largest and the first-of-its-kind project in the rail sector - Western Dedicated Freight Corridor, to a consortium of Sojitz Corporation, Japan and Larsen and Toubro.

The Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (1483 km) will run from the Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) in Mumbai to Tughlakabad and Dadri near Delhi, passing through Haryana and Rajasthan. It would cater largely to the container transport requirements between existing and emerging ports in Maharashtra and Gujarat.

The engineering, procurement and construction order secured by the Sojitz-L&T Consortium involves construction of 626 km of a double track corridor from Rewari in Haryana to Iqbalgarh in Gujarat, via Rajasthan, spanning three states.

The consortium’s scope includes construction of 1388 track km of railway line, 112 major bridges, 1188 minor bridges, 20 stations along with supply of equipment.

The project will be executed using mechanized means of sleepers and track lining machines using the latest technology in railway construction.

Adopting advanced construction technologies, the consortium is expected to complete the project in 48 months.

At a function in New Delhi on Monday, DFCCIL and Sojitz-L&T Consortium exchanged documents in the presence of several high ranking dignitaries including Takeshi Yagi, Ambassador, Embassy of Japan, Arunendra Kumar, Chairman - Railway Board & Chairman – DFCCIL, R.K. Gupta, Managing Director, DFCCIL, Toshihiko Kita, Managing Executive Officer & President of Machinery Division, Sojitz, S.N. Subrahmanyan, Member of the Board and Senior Executive Vice President, L&T.

Speaking on the occasion, Arunendra Kumar said: “Dedicated Freight Corridor marks a strategic inflexion point in the history of Indian Railways’ freight infrastructure. It is expected to give a much needed fillip to the regional economy through the establishment of industrial corridors and multimodal logistics parks along its alignment."

Toshihiko Kita said: “Sojitz is delighted to be a part of this milestone infrastructural development in enhancing the Indian rail freight transportation to world-class levels."
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Old August 21st, 2013, 08:29 AM   #1394
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Given the very large Indian loading gauge: Will this Western Dedicated Freight Corridor be able to handle double stack trains?
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Old August 21st, 2013, 11:00 AM   #1395
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M-NL View Post
Given the very large Indian loading gauge: Will this Western Dedicated Freight Corridor be able to handle double stack trains?
Yes, see this:
http://dfccil.org/DFCC/Projects/Salient%20features
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Old August 24th, 2013, 06:11 AM   #1396
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NSSMC to market strongest-ever train wheels in foreign markets
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/economy...AJ201308220068

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Lackluster demand for train wheels in Japan is forcing its only wheel maker, Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp., to turn its eyes to overseas markets.

The company, which produces wheels for all types of Japan’s rail needs, including the Shinkansen bullet train, is looking to market its new generation wheels to mining companies operating in resource-rich countries such as Australia and Brazil.

Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal sees growth for new products in the mining sector due to surges in resource prices.

The newly developed wheels, which are the result of a new processing method that produces stronger steel, can carry 2.5 times the amount of cargo compared to standard wheels, or 35 tons per shaft, and are more resistant to wear and tear.

Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal acquired major U.S. wheel maker Standard Steel in 2011, and is now manufacturing 10 percent of the world’s annual sales of 5 million wheels.

This spring, the steel maker delivered 1,000 newly developed wheels to a railway company in the United States.

Investing about 5 billion yen ($51 million) in its new U.S. acquisition, it will construct a new facility in the United States that is similar to its Japanese plant to produce the newly developed wheels. Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal plans to start operations at the new facility next summer.

Its only domestic plant in Osaka produces 100,000 wheels a year for the Japanese market and 70,000 wheels for markets in North America and Europe.



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Old August 24th, 2013, 06:12 AM   #1397
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Japan to assist Tanzania in railway upgrades
http://allafrica.com/stories/201308192050.html

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Dar es Salaam — In a bid to make Tanzania a major economic hub for business and investment in Africa, the Japanese government says it will revamp the current central railway line to international gauge.

"A team of experts from Japan will arrive in Tanzania late this year or early next year to conduct assessment so as to quickly start the implementation of the project," Tanzania's Minister for Industry and Trade, Dr Abdallah Kigoda has said.

Currently, Tanzania has a 2,707 kilometer - long single track gauge, with a design capacity of transporting five million tons of cargo per year. Yet, only about 10% of the installed capacity is currently being utilized due to lack of investments to revamp the ailing railway network.

However, Minister Kigoda noted the implementation of the project will take long because to revamp the railway line network needs massive investments. According to him the project requires about $5.2 billion.

Dr Kigoda said the project is part of the implementation of the agreement between President Jakaya Kikwete and Japanese's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

During the 5th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD-V) held in June, this year, the head of states discussed several issues, one being the overhaul of the central railway line in Tanzania.

Japan has unveiled a comprehensive technical cooperation plan with Tanzania to make it a major economic hub for business and investment in Africa, the Japanese Minister for Economy, Trade and Industries, Mr. Toshimistu Motegi said.

Minister Motegi, who is visited in Tanzania as part of the implementation of agreements reached at the TICAD-V said his country had nominated Tanzania the centre for investment to serve the East African region and the continent at large.

According to Japanese Ambassador to Tanzania, Mr. Masaki Okada, Tanzania could make maximum and efficient use of the existing railway gauge only if its capacity is increased before embarking on the new standard gauge system.

Ambassador Okada confirmed that Japan is interested to invest in Tanzania's railway network and some experts from TOSHIBA are expected to visit in the country to survey the central line, and then will come up with scientific advice on the improvement of the project.

Ambassador Okada said, they use the same gauge as in Tanzania and was performing efficiently. It ferries heavy cargo and has the speed between 100-240 kilometers per hour.

In March this year, a team of Japanese consultants submitted report to the Ministry of Transport that shows the standard gauge will be required when demand exceed the capacity of the rehabilitated meter gauge track possibly after 2030.

According to Ambassador Okada, the repair and rehabilitation could be short term strategy while longer trains, higher powered locomotives and more block trains in the midterm and network expansion in the long term strategies.

"The immediate conversion to standard gauge track is not recommended because the existing railway cannot suspend its operation and the present bridges not usable," he said.

The ailing Tanzania's railway network has been the major cause of high transport costs, pushing up prices of almost all goods in the market, the burden that is always transferred to the final consumer.

Apart from saving fuel, an efficient rail system would help extend the life shelf of the country's roads, that is, by protecting them from being damaged quickly by heavy duty vehicles.

This is based on the fact that the amount of cargo to be lifted by 40 trucks can easily fit into the 40 twenty-foot equivalent units from the port of Dar es Salaam to be transported by a goods train.

Tabling his ministry's 2013/14 budget estimates in Dodoma, the Minister of Transport, Dr Harrison Mwakyembe, said Tanzania Railway Limited (TRL) ferried 198,024 tons in 2012, equivalent to 24.8% lower compared to 267,008 of the corresponding year.

Similarly, TRL ferried 505,223 passengers, which is 2.7% down in the period under review compared to 519,036 in the previous year.

"The decline in cargo and passengers was contributed by the insufficient as well as depreciation of the locomotives and wagons. Also lack of funds and equipment as well as destruction of railway line contributed to the inefficiency," Mwakyembe noted.

TRL has two lines; the central line that runs from Dar es Salaam to Tabora with two branches; one to Kigoma in the west along lake Tanganyika, hence providing freight cargo transportation to the west of the country as well as the land-locked countries of Burundi, Rwanda and eastern part of Peoples Democratic Republic of Congo.

The second branch runs from Tabora to Mwanza port on Lake Victoria, also providing transportation services to north and north-western part of the country including landlocked Uganda.

The other line runs from Ruvu northward to Korogwe and then branches to Tanga port on the Indian ocean, another branch north-west to Moshi. Its connection also goes north to Kenya, terminating at Taveta.
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Old August 24th, 2013, 05:55 PM   #1398
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Speaking of new trains, any recent news from JR West about what trainset will the company buy to replace the aging 115's running west of Himeji? I know the PR release from late last year announced there will be new EMU's, but I haven't heard a peep since then....
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Old August 26th, 2013, 10:29 AM   #1399
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Local governments lobby for improvements to east segment of Chūō Main Line
新型車両の早期導入を 中央東線高速化期成同盟会総会

http://www.nagano-np.co.jp/modules/n...?storyid=29277

A regional alliance established to lobby for improvements to speed up the eastern segment of the Chūō Main Line (i.e., the “Chūō East Line”), formed of Nagano and Yamanashi Prefectures and local cities, towns, and villages alogn the line held its FY2013 general meeting on 2013.08.23 in Kōfu City. While work is proceeding to open the Chūō Shinkansen maglev between Tōkyō and Nagoya in 2027, the alliance proposed a package of improvements to enhance rail service on the Chūō East Line.

The alliance has been lobbying JR East and the national government to reduce travel times between Matsumoto and Shinjuku to two hours or less and improve passenger convenience. According to Yamanashi Prefecture, several service improvements have already been implemented, including schedule changes that took effect in March of this year that added one limited express trip bound for Tōkyō and provision of mobile phone service inside a total of six tunnels, each 2 km or longer, by June of this year.

Their efforts this fiscal year will push five goals, including accelerating completion of quadruple-tracking between Mitaka and Tachikawa, track geometry improvements west of Takao, and development of new high-speed rolling stock. These goals, together with increased early morning and late night limited express trips and through-service of Azusa limited expresses onto the Iida Line, will be incorporated into a petition to be submitted to JR East this autumn.
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Old August 26th, 2013, 10:33 AM   #1400
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The full trainset for the Seven Stars in Kyūshū luxury service began testing recently… They still haven’t removed the black film off the set, so they are obviously being extremely careful with the paint on the train.

At JR Kyūshū’s Kokura General Rolling Stock Center (2013.08.01):



At Hakata in Fukuoka (2013.08.17):



In Nagasaki (2013.08.19):



Amateur PV of testing of the train’s dedicated DF200 loco, caught on the Nippō Main Line between Ōita Rolling Stock Center and Yanagigaura (2013.07.13):



Some pictures of the dedicated bus for the service:
http://news.mynavi.jp/news/2013/08/24/014/











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