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  1. I came across this, very interesting, video in my youtube recommended list. Cab ride from Ueno to Sendai on the Tōhoku Shinkansen: The landscape around the Tōhoku shinkansen has off course changed considerably over the last 30 years, both in terms of the railway(s) themselves as the surrounding architecture, having been caught up in the unstoppable march of progress. Yet it still remains highly recognizable, especially around the stations. Interesting things, imho, to notice: - Keihin-Tōhoku line 103 series. At this point in time JR East was already working on the design of the 901 series prototype, which would become the 209 series. They would replace the ageing 103 series fleet between 1993 and 1996. - Saikyō line 103 series. An interesting mix of ex-Yamanote line high cab 103 series formations, all kinds of mixes between fully air conditioned formations and everything inbetween. Would be replaced by new built 205 series in 1990. - Construction work at Fukushima station, the Yamagata shinkansen was under construction (conversion would be the better word though) at that point in time, and would open in 1992. - While the 400 series shinkansen was being designed at that moment, at that point the only series used on the eastern shinkansen was still the 200 series. - While the majority of the formations met along the way were al F formations (Either F1~F3/F4~F21 sub group (New built) or F41~F41, F51~F59 (converted former E formations) sub groups) I noticed at least one G formation (Though whether this was a G20~28 or G40~G48 sub-formation was impossible to discern) and one of the few remaining E formations. It also gives a valuable insight, to me at least, into the operation of the Tōhoku Shinkansen in the period after the split of the old national railways (J.N.R.), only 2 years and a few months after it occurred. In June 1989, when this was filmed, the Tōhoku Shinkansen had been in operation for close to 7 years. Originally opened on the 23rd of June 1982, the Tōhoku shinkansen was the 3rd shinkansen to open during the national railways era. It was part of the 1971 Shinkansen construction plan, which also included the Jōetsu Shinkansen (opened on the 15th of November 1982) as well as the cancelled Narita Shinkansen (cancelled in 1983). Though designed around a maximum operational speed of 260km/h, the maximum speed at the time of the opening of the line was set to 210km/h, the same as on the Tōkaidō/Sanyō Shinkansen pre 1986. The full route of the Tōhoku shinkansen was always planned to run between Tōkyō station and Morioka, however due to the 1970's oil crisis as well as the deteriorating financial situation of the national railways, it was decided to open the route in stages. During the opening of the Tōhoku Shinkansen, only the section between Ōmiya and Morioka had been finished, while work was still continuing on the section between Ueno and Ōmiya, while work had yet to commence on the section between Tōkyō station and Ueno. The section between Ueno and Ōmiya was opened on the 14th of March 1985. At the same time the maximum operational speed, on both the Tōhoku and Jōetsu Shinkansen, was increased from 210km/h to 240km/h, which made it the fastest Shinkansen at that point in time. While the 200 series was originally designed around a maximum operational speed of 250km/h, the first 5 batches (the E formations, E1~E36 delivered between late 1980 and 1982) were limited to a maximum speed of 210km/h. This was because of the MM+MM' (1 pantograph per 2 cars, i.e. 6 pantographs per 12 car formation) layout they shared with the 0 series Shinkansen. With contact noise being a large part of the noise footprint generated by the shinkansen (in 1974, residents along the Tōkaidō Shinkansen had filed a lawsuit against J.N.R. because of the noise pollution generated by the 0 series (the only series operating at the Tōkaidō shinkansen at that point in time) formations running at speed. As a result, new standards for noise pollution were passed in 1975 limiting the maximum sound level permitted to 75db in build-up areas. Though it would still take almost a decade before actual action were taken to reduce the noise on the existing lines), as well as the overhead line swaying caused by the passing of a pantograph resulting in loss of contact for the upcoming pantograph at high speed. In order to allow a future increase in speed, the 200 series cars built from batch 6 onward (1983) would be fitted with a high voltage through cable near the roof of the car. This allowed the number of active pantographs to be reduced to 3 (from ~1993 onward only 2 would be in use, with the two forward pantographs used as reserve, while the redundant middle ones (cars 6 and 8 on the F formations, 6 on the post 1997 K formations and cars 6 and 12 on the 16 car H formations) were removed) and therefore, with changes to the ATC, they were capable of running at a maximum operational speed of 240km/h. While the first 3 new formations were originally numbered consecutively to the existing E formations (E1~E36) as E37~E39, because of their different operational capabilities they were quickly renumbered into a new sub group of formations, the F formations (F1~F3) while their cars would be numbered into the 1000 sub-type range of the 200 series. For the production batches 7 onward, another small change was made to the design of the series. For the scheduled opening of the section between Ueno and Ōmiya, it was projected that the ridership on the line would increase. As a result, the interior of the type 221 and 222 end cars were slightly redesigned to allow the addition of an extra row of standard type seats in both of them (adding 5 seats per end car). As a result of this, the end cars were numbered into the 1500 sub-type range of the 200 series, the middle cars remained in the 1000 range. All remaining batches, 7~9 would be delivered with 221/222-1500 sub-type cars between 1984 and 1985, they would be part of the F4~F21 sub-group of formations, the last 200 series formations to be built. Which brings us to the formation this video was shot in. According to the description, this was filmed in the cab of 222-1512 which, if the information correct (footage at the end of the video reveals part of the formation number (4) from the observer side of the cab, which could only be formation F4 (or, translated from geek speak, the number 4 seems too close to the second wiper on the right to be F14), which would make it 222-1501 as opposed to 1512... It is off course possible that they filmed this part of the material separately at a different time and they are unrelated) means this was filmed in 200 series formation F15. Formation F15 was completed by Nipon Sharyō on the 20th of November 1984 as part of production batch 8, the second to last production batch for this series. In June of 1991, as with all remaining F formations, her green car changed position within the formation, changing from position 7 to position 11. In March of 1997, as part of the increase in K formations formed needed for the opening of the Akita Shinkansen in the same year, she would be reformed into formation K48. This group within the K formations, K41~K51, were the first to contain 10 cars as opposed to the 8 cars of the original K formations (K1~K11). The remaining 2 surplus cars were then used to extend the 8 car K1~K11 sub group into the 10 car K21~K31 sub-group of formations. The remaining cars of F15 (225-1030 and 226-1074) would be added to formation K6, which would continue as K26. In December 1999, K48 was the 4th K formation to undergo life extension and renewal work, K26 would follow a year later in December of 2000. While this renewal was meant to extend their life for another 10 years, most would actually serve beyond this 10 year benchmark. When the 200 series retired from the Tōhoku shinkansen in November 2011, K48 was the first of the renewed formations (with exception of formation K25 which was severely damaged after a derailment during the Niigata-Chūetsu earthquake in 2004) to be retired and scrapped, exactly 27 years after she was built. K26 would soldier on for a little while longer, being transferred as one of 8 K formations designated for the Jōetsu shinkansen, she was finally retired in January 2013, 2 months before the scheduled retirement of the last 200 series shinkansen. 225-1030 and 226-1074, the last remaining cars from formation F15, would serve for slightly more than 28 years. Please enjoy!
  2. Another collaboration between Taiwan's TRA and a Japanese private railway, in this case Tobu. A 200 series Ryomo trainset was given the wrapping treatment, the design inspired by TRA's TEMU 2000 Puyuma. Revenue service will begin this Friday. This trainset is planned to be used daily on two to three round trip services. Information of which Ryomo services will use this trainset will be released every Monday. At Kasukabe and Tobu Dobutsukoen Stations this Monday, on a test run: Article with many pictures: http://news.mynavi.jp/news/2016/06/14/328/
  3. JR East has moved a 200 series end car from Niigata Shinkansen Depot to the Niitsu Railway Museum in the Akiha ward of Niigata City. It may be 221-1510, but I'm not sure. Wikipedia says that the existing 200 series cab section outside of the building is actually a mockup. Niigata news: http://www.niigata-nippo.co.jp/news/national/20130527045217.html Wikipedia link on the museum: http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%96%B0%E6%BD%9F%E5%B8%82%E6%96%B0%E6%B4%A5%E9%89%84%E9%81%93%E8%B3%87%E6%96%99%E9%A4%A8
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