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Old December 20th, 2013, 01:11 PM   #1501
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Old December 21st, 2013, 06:55 PM   #1502
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Speaking of which, JR West decided to do this change:

http://www.westjr.co.jp/press/articl...0_00_kinki.pdf

Starting in March 2014, they will run a 189 Series DMU from Osaka (Umeda) Station to Kusatsu Station on the Tokaidō Main Line during weekday evenings. I'd like to know why, considering that we're running essentially a DMU on an all-electrified line, an extra service that could accomplished with either a 223 or 225 Series EMU.
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Old December 21st, 2013, 07:49 PM   #1503
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223 and 225 series aren't limited express stock... They aren't really designed for limited expresses (for example, there's no seat numbering). If you just ran those, you might have difficulty attracting riders, since there's no physical difference between them and the rest of the trains on the JR Kyōto Line / Biwako Line... Passengers would be thinking why should I pay extra for this when it's basically the exact same train. There's also potential for confusion, as most passengers probably just associate 223 and 225 series with non-limited express services. When they see actual limited express stock, they’ll immediately understand that it’s not a train that they should board.

Yes, it's a bit odd to run a DMU on a fully electrified route, but they probably just judged that there was enough demand to justify the increased fuel cost (electricity rates aren't exactly cheap either), plus enough slack in the Hamakaze schedule. According to Wiki, the Kiha 181 series sets are all deployed out of Suita General Rolling Stock Division, Kyōto Yard (吹田総合車両所京都支所), which is located in Mukō City (向日市), well on the way to Kyōto from Ōsaka. In other words, to operate this service there is already probably some fairly long deadheading for the first departure from Ōsaka and the last arrival at Ōsaka. In fact, Hamakaze 6 arrives at Ōsaka at 20:12, which makes it perfect to operate this new Biwako Express trip, plus the deadheading from Kusatsu to Mukōmachi is actually less than from Ōsaka to Mukōmachi.
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Old December 22nd, 2013, 03:11 AM   #1504
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quashlo,

If that new Biwako Express service is sold as a premium service, then it makes sense. I believe this new service is very limited stops between Osaka (Umeda) and Kusatsu, taking advantage of the KiHa 189's 130 km/h top speed.
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Old December 22nd, 2013, 04:38 AM   #1505
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The Biwako Express services are ltd. express services, but with mainly unreserved seating (much like the old L-tokkyu services of the JNR era)-making it a cut above regular kaisoku services, but flexible enough for the weekday commuter.
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Old December 22nd, 2013, 04:58 AM   #1506
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Akebono to be discontinued
JR東日本、寝台特急「あけぼの」廃止を正式発表 - ダイヤ改正で臨時列車化

http://news.mynavi.jp/news/2013/12/20/297/

With the 2014.03.15 timetable changes announced on 2013.12.20, JR East also confirmed that the Akebono, a limited express sleeper train between Ueno (Tōkyō) and Aomori will be discontinued from the regular schedule. The service will be converted to an extra / special service (臨時列車) operating on an irregular schedule.

The Akebono (“Dawn”) debuted in October 1970 on a route via the Tōhoku Main Line (東北本線) and Ōu Main Line (奥羽本線). When the Akita Shinkansen service started and Shinkansen and zairaisen trains began mixing on the Ōu Main Line, the route was changed, and it currently runs via the Jōetsu Line (上越線) and Uetsu Main Line (羽越本線).

The service is pulled by EF64 DC locomotives between Ueno and Nagaoka and EF84 AC / DC locomotives between Nagaoka and Aomori, taking about 12 and a half hours end-to-end. The service features 24 series passenger cars and includes a variety of accommodations, including “A” class (A寝台) single rooms (“Single Deluxes” シングルデラックス), “B” class (B寝台) single rooms (“Solos” ソロ), and “B” class bunk beds, as well as special reclining seats that can be reserved like regular limited express seats. One roundtrip is operated daily.

JR East cited declining ridership and aging trains as the main reasons for discontinuing the service. While the Akebono will disappear from the regular schedule in March 2014, the railway will still operate the service as a special during periods of high demand.





===

Akebono at Ueno (2013.12.11). In its heyday in 1982, as many as three roundtrips were operated daily, but it’s been stuck at one roundtrip a day since 1990. Apparently, the service averaged about 60% utilization for the first half of FY2013.

With the elimination of the Akebono, the Hokutosei (Ueno – Sapporo) (北斗星) will be the last remaining regularly-operated “Blue Train” sleeper (ブルートレイン), although we have heard that the Hokutosei will also disappear come the opening of the Hokkaidō Shinkansen section to Shin-Hakodate in March 2016.



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Old December 22nd, 2013, 05:50 AM   #1507
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Quote:
Akebono to be discontinued
JR-East is having no problems filling this train on the weekends-for example all berths were sold out by 10am one month before the three day weekend of Jan. 11~13. Anybody wanting to ride this train without an outstanding reservation are advised to check three days before departure date or the day of departure for openings due to reservation cancellations.
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Old December 22nd, 2013, 06:03 AM   #1508
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Quote:
223 and 225 series aren't limited express stock... They aren't really designed for limited expresses (for example, there's no seat numbering).
As a side note, you can see seat numbering on older suburban stock from the JNR area (113/115 series, for example), which I suppose is a reflection of their use on (occasional?) express services in the past, or reserved seat rinji ressha. A bit odd to see seat numbers above the rather cramped (2 person) longitudinal seats that are fitted near the door areas on these rolling stock.
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Old December 24th, 2013, 02:24 AM   #1509
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I would like to ask if the East Japan Railway if there's a train donation for the Philippines aside from the sleeper but we need also some EMU and Kiha car here.
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Old December 24th, 2013, 05:24 AM   #1510
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EMU?
Is something being electrified?
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Old December 24th, 2013, 05:27 AM   #1511
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On 2013.12.18, JR West announced the name of its new railway museum under construction in Umekōji in Kyōto: the Kyōto Railway Museum (京都鉄道博物館).

Kyōdō News video report:



The steam locomotive roundhouse at Umekōji. This will be part of the museum.

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Old December 27th, 2013, 02:01 AM   #1512
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Hitachi secures ETCS certification
日立、ETCS規格認証を取得-車上信号装置を製品化

http://www.nikkan.co.jp/news/nkx0120131227baaj.html

On 2013.12.6, Hitachi Ltd. (日立製作所) announced that it had secured certification for compatibility with the European Train Control System (ETCS). ETCS-compliant systems are required for train control on cross-border railways in Europe. In coordination with the certification, Hitachi has developed ETCS-compliant cab signaling (車上信号) equipment for mass production and sale. The equipment will first be equipped on new trains for the United Kingdom’s Intercity Express Programme (IEP) to be manufactured under a contract awarded in 2012, but Hitachi eventually hopes to expand marketing and sales of the equipment in India and southeast Asia.

The cab signaling equipment allows for wireless train control. Hitachi received accreditation from the European Railway Agency (ERA) for NoBo (equipment functionality) and for the highest safety integrity level (SIL 4), becoming the first Japanese rail industry manufacturer to receive certification. ETCS is primarily a European standard, although it is gradually being introduced in railway projects in Asia.

While Hitachi has placed a major focus on the Asian market, the company will also be supplying about 200 sets of cab signaling equipment for the IEP orders, but also hopes to win future demand in the U.K., which could rise to as many as 7,500 equipment sets over a 40-year period as part of rolling stock upgrades.
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Old December 27th, 2013, 08:29 AM   #1513
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Some pictures of the Imperial train (お召し列車) used by Emperor Taishō (大正天皇):
http://www.asahi.com/articles/ASF0TKY201312220012.html

聖上陛下御化粧室
Emperor’s powder room



賢所乗御車
This is a special “treasury car” intended for transport of the Yata no Kagami (八咫鏡), a sacred mirror and one of the three Imperial Regalia of Japan (三種の神器). The car was outfitted with a pedestal (台) and bamboo blinds (御簾) to protect the mirror. This car only ran twice—once in 1915 for the ascension of Emperor Taishō, followed in 1928 for the ascension of Emperor Shōwa (昭和天皇).



The Imperial train carrying Emperor Taishō back to Tōkyō following his coronation ceremony in Kyōto, with Mt. Fuji in the background. Probably the Tōkaidō Main Line.



皇后陛下御料車
Empress’ car



The photos are from two photographic collections published by the then-Ministry of Railways (鉄道院) in the historical documents archive of the Imperial Household Agency (宮内庁), which photographed both volumes and published them online on 2013.12.27. You can see the rest of the photos here:
http://toshoryo.kunaicho.go.jp/Viewer?contentId=3621

===

The modern version of the Imperial train is the E655 series Nagomi, built specifically by JR East for Imperial excursions and special charters, although the Imperial family usually now prefers to take the Shinkansen. Needless to say, it’s very rare to see this train.

Some scenes from this year:

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Old December 27th, 2013, 09:35 AM   #1514
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
EMU?
Is something being electrified?
I mean like the 203 series which give by JR east in the PNR and run by a generator for airconditioning, door ang light.
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Old December 27th, 2013, 07:26 PM   #1515
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Well, JR East always has rolling stock being phased out, since they have a very large network and a very aggressive replacement program, so I don't think it's a question of whether there's any trains available, more of whether an agreement can be reached.
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Old December 27th, 2013, 07:26 PM   #1516
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Gearing up for the New Year holiday… Based on the current reservation patterns, peak day leaving Tōkyō will be 2013.12.28 for the Tōkaidō Shinkansen and 2013.12.30 for the Tōhoku, Jōetsu, and Nagano Shinkansen. Peak day for return will be 2014.01.04.

FNN video report:



Because of how the holidays fall this year, congestion is expected to be worse than in typical years, with some people taking as many as 9 days straight off from work. As a result, the JRs will operate more trains than usual to cope with the higher-than-usual demand, although JR Hokkaidō’s capacity is way down due to the temporary service changes they’ve implemented as a result of their recent safety problems, so they have less trains available and are running less service.

Total seats available for reservation (2013.12.27 – 2014.01.05):

JR Hokkaidō
http://www.jrhokkaido.co.jp/press/2013/131213-1.pdf

Zairaisen limited express: 198,822 (73.1% of last year)

JR East
http://www.jreast.co.jp/press/2013/20131210.pdf

Shinkansen: 2.09 million (102%)
Zairaisen limited express: 1.25 million (101%)
Total: 3.33 million (102%)

JR Central
http://jr-central.co.jp/news/release/nws001348.html

Shinkansen: 3.42 million (103%)
Zairaisen limited express: 230,000 (98%)
Total: 3.65 million (103%)

JR West
http://www.westjr.co.jp/press/articl...page_4941.html

Shinkansen: 872,000 (110%)
Zairaisen limited express: 220,000 (110%)
Total: 1.093 million (109%)

JR Kyūshū
http://www13.jrkyushu.co.jp/newsrele...c?OpenDocument

Kyūshū Shinkansen:
Outbound: 176,000 (99.1%)
Inbound: 169,000 (98.5%)
Total: 345,000 (98.8%)

Nagasaki Main Line limited expresses (Kamome, Midori, Huis Ten Bosch):
Outbound: 81,000 (100.2%)
Inbound: 86,000 (98.8%)
Total: 167,000 (99.5%)

Nippō Main Line limited expresses (Sonic, Nichirin):
Outbound: 55,000 (103.3%)
Inbound: 58,000 (99.3%)
Total: 113,000 (101.2%)

JR Shikoku
http://www.jr-shikoku.co.jp/03_news/...3-12-13/01.htm

Zairaisen limited express: 165,840 (100%)
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Old December 27th, 2013, 09:01 PM   #1517
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
This is a special “treasury car” intended for transport of the Yata no Kagami (八咫鏡), a sacred mirror and one of the three Imperial Regalia of Japan (三種の神器). The car was outfitted with a pedestal (台) and bamboo blinds (御簾) to protect the mirror. This car only ran twice—once in 1915 for the ascension of Emperor Taishō, followed in 1928 for the ascension of Emperor Shōwa (昭和天皇).
How was Heisei handled?
Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post

The modern version of the Imperial train is the E655 series Nagomi, built specifically by JR East for Imperial excursions and special charters, although the Imperial family usually now prefers to take the Shinkansen.
Is there a need for Imperial Shinkansen?
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Old December 28th, 2013, 05:11 AM   #1518
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I'm not surprised that the E655 trainset is not normally used by the Imperial family. Just travelling on this special train from Tokyo Station to Kyoto Station on the Tokaidō Main Line would take probably six to seven hours one-way (e.g., making very few stops along the way), compared to under two hours with the Nozomi Shinkansen.
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Old December 28th, 2013, 10:00 AM   #1519
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An imperial Shinkansen wouldn't work on the Tokaido, there are already simply too many trains to have a special Imperial Shinkansen running in between at irregular timings.

It's much more easy to take the Nozomi for individual travels or take a private plane when traveling in larger groups. Airports are also more practical for these kind of trips then train stations. At an airport you don't have to close down half the station to have the family embark and disembark. Simply drive a bus next to the plane somewhere on a remote stand and let everyone disembark from the plane directly into the bus.


I have no doubt that the E655 is usually also used in this way. Just to have the Imperial family arrive in style, after embarking at small station just outside of the city they are visiting.
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Old December 28th, 2013, 10:24 AM   #1520
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Wasn´t there an imperial 0 series Shinkansen?
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