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  1. Interesting list from the JR East website, showing the average age of each type of rolling stock in the fleet: http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/data/procurement/rolling_stock.html
  2. JR East took delivery of another HB-E300 trainset, intended for service as the Resort Shirakami Buna. Currently there is a modified KIHA40 formation with this name. This left J-Trec as a 3-car set: Car 1, HB-E301-5 Car 2, HB-E300-105 Car 4, HB-E302-5 Obviously car 3 is missing; its body will be also be built by J-Trec, but will be shipped to Akita Depot for final assembly. A tour of the train is scheduled for July 9 before revenue operation begins on July 16th. I think it's a nice basic design and a pleasant color/livery, even if it's just a wrap. Buna means Japanese beech, which I guess is what's illustrated on the side of the train. From a railfan point of view, this type has large windshields as well as large windows behind the driver's station, making for a nice view ahead (visible in these threads http://www.jnsforum.com/community/topic/7337-jr-east-tsugaru-line-shin-aomori-to-mimmaya and http://www.jnsforum.com/community/topic/3415-some-tohoku-scenery and I thought Bill posted some recently but now I can't find them :( ) http://railf.jp/news/2016/05/27/170000.html The second video above is at Shitte, and the third is at Nishi-Kokubunji. I assume this traveled by the Musashino South Line (a freight bypass), but after studying a map for literally minutes, I think the Nambu Line would have been possible too. Subsequent locations are Fukiage and Takasaki, so I guess they're just going straight up the Joetsu Line to Niigata and then on to Akita along the Sea of Japan. Sounds like a cool ride :). The presumably outgoing KIHA40-based Buna formation at Ueno on April 10 for a sort of open day:
  3. Apologies if this has been posted before, but I noticed that Google Street View (or more accurately, interior view) lets you roam around inside JR East's museum in Omiya, Saitama. Notice that in the lower right of your browser you can choose between three floors and the roof. Useful for those of us who can't seem to get that Japanese vacation organized :) :( https://www.google.com/maps/@35.9205395,139.6182968,3a,75y,182.93h,85.24t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1stcl8JMA9XN9JNmg0VxQw8A!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1
  4. EF510-509 has been transferred from JR East's Tabata Depot to JR Freight's Toyama Locomotive Depot. -509 is one of the two EF510-500s, along with -510, in the Casseiopia livery. It doesn't look like English or Japanese Wikipedia is updated yet, does anyone know if JR East has sold this one to JR Freight? I'm still a bit surprised that JRE bought all of those locomotives only to sell them on just a few years later. Or was that the plan to begin with? I'm just not sure what their reason would be for subsidizing JR Freight's fleet. It will be the tenth EF510-500 transfered if that's the case. I think -509 and -510 are two of the sharpest looking electric locomotives ever built. http://railf.jp/news/2015/01/19/170000.html
  5. Here's a video of a depot open day, which is nothing new. In this case it's at Nagano, last October. But Nagano is one of JRE's scrapping sites, and there are several cars in this video waiting for the shears, as well as a few that seem to have escaped their fate (at least for now), including EF62 3 and a 253 series Narita Express end car. It gives you some indication of the upkeep routines that must be in place; have a look at its appearance after just a few years of neglect.
  6. In this video, RailKingJP and his son visit car 951-1, which is on display across from the Railway Technical Research Institute in Kokubunji, Tokyo. It appears that during the daytime, the car is open to the public, and has displays and a small library inside. I'll check it out when I drop off my résumé at RTRI https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Class_951_Shinkansen location: https://goo.gl/maps/LGaZoVmHu8p
  7. Here's a vid from Sankei News's channel of a training room at JR East's Mito Training Center. Of course the training itself is good, but I really want that simulator :). Looks like a very up-to-date driver's station.
  8. It was revealed by JR East on Dec. 2 that the new luxury suite train "Shikishima", scheduled to begin operation in the spring of 2017, will operate on one cruise plan through the Seikan Tunnel to Noboribetsu/Lake Toya in Hokkaido. The four day plan departs Ueno Station, goes to Nikko, then proceeds north on the Tohoku Main Line to Hokkaido. The return course takes the Sea of Japan side route, and transits Niigata Prefecture and the Joetsu Line to reach Ueno. The train will be capable of running under 25kV AC lines as well as 20kV AC and 1500V DC, as well as on non-electrified lines using its hybrid diesel setup. http://trafficnews.jp/post/46466/ official website: http://www.jreast.co.jp/shiki-shima/
  9. Bit of old news from two weeks back, but it was revealed that the number of services on the Hokkaido Shinkansen will be set at 13 r/t a day. 10 round trips will be Tokyo - Shin Hakodate-Hokuto services, the remaining 3 r/t will be SHH-Sendai, SHH-Morioka, and SHH-Shin-Aomori. All Tokyo-SHH services and the SHH-Sendai service will be limited stop Hayabusa, while the SHH-Morioka and SHH-Shin-Aomori will be the frequent stop Hayate services. During holiday/special event periods, up to 4 additional r/t will be added to meet passenger demand. Currently, there are 10 r/t Hakucho/Super Hakucho ltd. express services between Hakodate and Aomori. Including the remaining night trains, approx. 4000 passengers are carried through the Seikan Tunnel daily. It is projected that number will increase to 6000/day with the introduction of shinkansen services. It is still unknown if the Tokyo-Shin Hakodate-Hokuto travel time will be under 4 hours, considered an important target, which would allow passengers from Tokyo departing before 8am to arrive in Hakodate around noontime. A more official announcement is scheduled for mid-September. *summarized from Hokkaido Shimbun print edition article 8/27/2015
  10. A simulator for an e5 shinkansen train is on display for visitor use at the California State Railroad Museum. It was provided by JR East, as part of a special exhibition on hsr. https://www.instagram.com/p/-SlpBDxoYc/ http://www.csrmf.org/component/content/article/55-events-exhibits-train-rides/477-fast-tracks-the-world-of-high-speed-rail
  11. Was a rare oportunity to visit those vehicles only 2 days 10/10 and 10/11, inside have a pictures to how was build and some new papers saying about the new tech for future shinkansen trains, i was alowed for only 1 minute in the drive seat :( The 300X JRCentral later 700 Series, STAR21 JREast E2, E3 and WIN350 JRWest 500 Series are all experimental vehicles that were used to test high-speed technology for future shinkansen. Not only are these trains on display, but visitors can actually go inside them. edit: i upload all the pics from my quick visit there so enjoy :D
  12. Well, got some pics of the last run of this overnight train. Already an hour before the train was to depart, a scrum of fans and TV camera crews were at the end of platform 4 at Sapporo Station. Wanting to avoid the tyro carnival, I caught a local train and got off at one of my favorite photo spots in the Sapporo area, Kami Nopporo Station. I estimate about 25~30 railfans and a smattering of general public with cameras were there. Helpfully there were periodic annoucements for railway staff (gyoumu renraku) informing the location of the train- it departed Sapporo one minute late and also passed Shiroishi Station one minute behind schedule. Somewhat thankfully it clouded up a bit before it passed through Kami Nopporo, lessening the harsh shadows as it was late afternoon with somewhat oblique side sunlight. Two DD51 lead: Rear of train. Please excuse the balding bobble head on the right, it was out of my control: As a bonus, several minutes later, a container freight passed through, led by rather smoky DF200-104:
  13. This news item I missed back in July, but it's interesting enough to post. JR East was already pegged to provide consultant services for the HS2 project in Great Britain, but on July 22 the firm revealed they had already started another service in addition to the previous announced items. This involved the use of their proprietary Hercules computer program to generate run curve diagrams. These run curve diagrams will be used to figure minimum running times between two designated points (stations) on the HS2 route. Presumably then hypothetical operating diagrams (schedules) can be generated using the data. One definition of a run curve: http://www.rtri.or.jp/eng/rd/seika/2003/02/lowcost_E08.html Details of the HS2 project: Top speed: 400km/h Top revenue service speed: 360km/h Train frequency- on completion of initial 1st segment (London-Birmingham): 14tph, on completion of second segment (Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds): 18tph Train length: 400m Details of the JR East project for HS2: Duration of simulation: June 10~Nov. 7, 2015 Test section to be used: Initial 1st segment (London Euston to Birmingham as well as connections to existing lines from Birmingham to Manchester/Leeds) Rolling stock to be used in simulation: JR East E5 and E6 Hypothetical HS2 trainset Stopping patterns: express type and stopping services Speed limits/standards to be utilized: JR East standard operating speed limits HS2 designated operating speed limits JR East press release: https://www.jreast.co.jp/press/2015/20150719.pdf Previous news from spring: http://www.railjournal.com/index.php/high-speed/hs2-appoints-jr-east-as-a-consultant.html
  14. http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0002377210
  15. Two of JR East's observation cars, SUROFU 14-701 and 14-702, were moved to Nagano Depot on July 7 for scrapping. These cars started life in 1974 as SUHAFU 14-53 and -57. 53 was built by Niigata Tekkyo, 57 by Fuji Heavy Industries. In 1983 they were modified into a European-style joyful train called the Salon Express Tokyo with observation, compartment, and lounge areas. They were reclassified as SUROFU 14-700 series. The full formation was 7 cars with 5 ORO 14s as intermediate cars. They were modified again in 1997; the compartment and lounge areas were removed and replaced with Japanese-style furnishings, tatami mats and kotatsu tables with lowered floors below (hori kotatsu). It was called the Yutori, which I think means 'pressure free' or something to that effect. It became a 6-car formation and was used until 2008. They were last stored at Oku Depot. SUROFU 14-701 was car 1 in the formation, -702 car 6 (or 7 during the Salon Express era). During the first modification, -702 got computer controlled lighting allow for various in-car moods :). It also had a video camera and some kind of karaoke system (and presumably somewhere to stow the requisite alcohol). After becoming the Yutori, seven swivel chairs existed in the observation areas, they're visible in some of the videos below. As I understand it, all lounge areas and compartments throughout the formation were removed and replaced with the tatami mats and hori kotatsu tables. The intermediate cars were ORO 14 series, -701 through -705, originally OHA 14s. In the Salon Express Tokyo formation they were all compartment cars with a capacity of 30 passengers each. Excepting -702, these were scrapped in 2008. When it became the Yutori, -702 was reassigned to Niigata, modified to be a lobby/lounge car, and renumbered OHA 14-1702. It was scrapped in 2002. Tetsudou Fan news item: http://railf.jp/news/2015/07/08/140000.html Hobidas news item: http://rail.hobidas.com/rmn/archives/2015/07/jr14_14.html Japanese Wikipedia entry for Salon Express Tokyo and Yutori: https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%82%B5%E3%83%AD%E3%83%B3%E3%82%A8%E3%82%AF%E3%82%B9%E3%83%97%E3%83%AC%E3%82%B9%E6%9D%B1%E4%BA%AC blog entry about the move: http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/kiha58okukuzitokiwa/12137833.html Japanese Wikipedia entry for 14 series passenger cars: https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%9B%BD%E9%89%8414%E7%B3%BB%E5%AE%A2%E8%BB%8A Previous JNS Forum thread about sister formation with JR West, Salon Car Naniwa: http://www.jnsforum.com/community/topic/9513-what-train-is-this of actual interest to forum members [ ] Kato item 10-250: http://www.katomodels.com/n/14kei/ at Oku and Omiya, by tobu8111F: some detail visible at Hachioji, by powerskyaccess. Railfans out in force: more detail at Shiojiri, by ya1964ma: moving around Nagano with KUMOYUNI 143-3 as locomotive, by hyama5071 interior shots, maybe at a depot open day, by 東雲ちの(苺餅地域鉄道部)(can't translate this):
  16. Event begins today, at Tokyo International Forum in Yurakucho. http://www.uic-highspeed2015.com/index.html
  17. Most here are already familiar with this process, but it apparently is getting a lot of hits on youtube from outside Japan:
  18. Well this evening I made my final ticket purchases for my journey down to the Kanto area for the summer holiday. B shindai on the express Hamanasu Sapporo to Aomori, and then Gran Class on the Hayabusa Shin Aomori to Tokyo. Total cost 39210 yen including the distance fare, but hey, it's the holidays, I think I deserve it.
  19. JR Hokkaido announced on Wednesday, June 10 that it is going to jointly develop a new DMU railcar design for cold region climates with JR East. The aim is to cut development and production costs. Features will be: -diesel electric drive -driving cabs on both ends, for single car, driver only operation -barrier free facilities i.e. wheelchair space and accessible toilets -air conditioning JR Hokkaido will order 100 units to replace the 140 aging kiha 40 DMU's currently in service. JR East will order 63 units. Two test units will be ready by 2017 for JR Hokkaido, with units entering in service in 2019. According to Nikkei, JR East will start using them earlier in revenue service in 2017. http://www.jrhokkaido.co.jp/press/2015/150610-2.pdf http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXLASDZ10HNY_Q5A610C1TI5000/
  20. On the 9th of this month, the president of JR East expressed a desire for the cruise train "Shikishima", scheduled to start running in the spring of 2017, to include forays into Hokkaido. The president stated that the destination would not just be Sapporo, but also other locations throughout the prefecture. Regarding the Cassiopeia sleeper train, he said the rolling stock was getting old, and that the aim was to replace it with this cruise train. The cruise train will operate out of its base at Ueno Station, where a luxury lounge will be built for passenger use before boarding. http://news.biglobe.ne.jp/domestic/0609/jj_150609_3760414530.html
  21. A run early this morning from Shin Aomori. First time for this train.
  22. http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/recovery/AJ201505310013 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDOEM90AQ7k
  23. Ukiyo over on the SSC forum posted this interesting article: http://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Companies/Mounted-sensors-to-allow-JR-East-to-screen-for-safety-using-in-service-trains Saw one these sensor-equipped trains last winter: http://www.jnsforum.com/community/topic/9548-keihin-tohoku-line-e233-track-monitor/?hl=%2Bkeihin+%2Btohoku+%2Bline
  24. JR East announced Tuesday (May 19) that they are looking to replace dmu rolling stock with new types in the Niigata and Akita areas, starting in 2017, and continuing through 2020. The requirement is for 19 single railcars and 22 two-car units, for a total of 63 railcars. The design will use diesel-electric propulsion, rather than the standard up to now of diesel-hydraulic drive. The units will replace the aging kiha 40, 47, and 48 types. In addition to domestic builders, JR East is soliciting foreign makers to participate in the process, as they have done for the Hachinohe Line rolling stock replacement program. This order for 63 railcars is included in a greater plan by JR East to procure 150 to 250 new railcars of the diesel-electric type. http://news.mynavi.jp/news/2015/05/19/418/ JR East English procurement info: http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/data/procurement/pdf/20150519_e_procurement.pdf
  25. JR East will modify a 719 series 2-car train for excursion operation on the Ban'etsu West Line. Called the 'Frutia' or 'Frutea' (apparently a combination of fruit and tea), one car will have a cafe counter and the other will have seating. The livery is inspired by red brick and traditional black plaster of lineside neighborhoods as well as the region's beautiful natural areas. Also influencing both exterior and interior details and styling is Japanese/Western architecture and design from the Meiji (1868-1912) and Taisho (1912-1926) periods. There's more about this that I can't seem to shape into coherent English :(. It will run on the Ban'etsu West Line between Aizu-Wakamatsu and Koriyama, primarily on Sundays and holidays from the end of April 2015. On board, original sweets and beverages made from Fukushima produce will be served, http://news.mynavi.jp/news/2014/11/27/476/ http://railf.jp/news/2014/11/28/150000.html http://www.jr-sendai.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/fruitea.pdf
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