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  1. I was thinking about the Sanko Line. I navigated to trusty Wikipedia and started clicking around. On the Japanese language page for Gotsu Station, there is a link to Wikimedia Commons, which has quite a few pictures. The newest pictures appear to be from May 3, 2018, well after the last day of service, March 31, 2018. In one, linked below, there's a KIHA47/8 at the platform, and the rails appear to be fairly free of rust. Were they regularly running trains to achieve this? If so, can anyone guess as to why? I searched a bit on gotsusen sabitori ressha, which didn't turn up anything useful. Removing the line name returned some information on the old Hanwa Freight line between Yao and Sugimoto-cho in Osaka-fu. I think I saw some of this back when they closed it; at the time I was surprised they ran 117s (in the old sorta-turquoise/pale purple Wakayama livery) to keep the rails free of rust. Could this have been prior to the approval of MLIT, meaning that it wasn't absolutely final? picture at Gotsu with KIHA: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:180503_Gotsu_Station_Gotsu_Shimane_pref_Japan05s3.jpg Commons page for Gotsu. At time of this post, first 16 images are from May 3 2018, name starting with '180503 Gotsu Station': https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Gōtsu_Station those images are by 663highland who takes excellent pictures, a few examples pictures in Shimane: https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/利用者:663highland/投稿画像ギャラリー・島根県 pictures in Kagoshima: https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/利用者:663highland/投稿画像ギャラリー・鹿児島県 pictures in Onomichi: https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/利用者:663highland/投稿画像ギャラリー・尾道市
  2. From profit of the way on jtrains yahoo group. From the article: "HIROSHIMA--An inspirational symbol, one of the few remaining streetcars that survived the August 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima has been repainted its original gray and blue colors to mark the 70th anniversary of the world’s first use of a nuclear weapon..." http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201506140018 Jeff
  3. This isn't very new anymore, but I don't recall seeing anything about it... JR West introduced alphabetic line designations for the Kinki and Chugoku regions some time around August 2014. It was asked in an Ompuchaneru thread (http://rail-uploader.khz-net.com/index.php?id=37062) why there's a "Q" on the destination board of a Namba-bound rapid on the Yamatoji Line. The answer is that the Yamatoji Line (aka Kansai Main Line from Nara to JR Namba) is the Q Line. Apparently this is to help foreigners. JR West page with some graphics: https://www.westjr.co.jp/press/article/2014/08/page_5993.html I could really do with some higher-resolution versions of those images :)
  4. Well, here it is. Looks just like the second iteration of the 521 series operated in the Hokuriku region, but with different color accents. The red represents Itsukushima Shrine's gate, as well as the fall foliage of maple trees, and, if I understand this correctly, it's the color of the Hiroshima Toyo Carp baseball team. First I thought this meant the actual fish, but apparently not. This will run on DC only. They expect to have 43 cars in service this year, and a total of 276 in service by 2018, in 64 3-car formations and 42 2-car formations. They'll be used on the Sanyo, Kure, and Kabe lines. Hmmm, I wonder how the new Osaka Loop Line rolling stock is coming along... I think this design is quite nice, although those things meant to stop people falling between the cars look a little funny on the ends. http://railf.jp/news/2014/06/20/130000.html
  5. For any of you into freight on grades, here are three videos by YT uploader JRwehksf of the Senohachi section of the Sanyo Main Line. Lots of footage of freight, some closeups of the new EF210-300s, and some 115 EMU run-bys as well. There are I think two different 4-car 115 series sets in some kind of livery for tourism promotion, they look good.
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