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0 Series Shinkansen 0 +1000 R14 Hikari organized shuttle (6-Car Set)

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A friend ask me what the difference between this and a Kato model is. Since I'm new to this I don't know what to tell him. Is it just the motor, or is the design different too?

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Lots of info here (machine-translated, but useful):  http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10267206


Basically, the Micro Ace A9658 Hikari represents a different prototype than Kato's 0 series model.  The Micro Ace is modeling a 6-car formation used in 1991-1995; Kato reproduces a 16-car formation from the mid 1980s. 


The MA A9658 also uses different molds/motor/parts than the Kato.  In particular, the Micro Ace has more detailed headlights, more detailed car ends, a different coupling system (Kato uses Rapido couplers). 

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Allow me to switch into 0系 otaku modus,


Both represent a different prototype formation, and both contain a different combination of car sub-types as well.


The kato model represents a (inaccurate) early 1980's 16 car Nh formations, while the MicroAce model you mentioned represents a (accurate) 1991~1992 JR West 6 car (W)R formation (R2~R28 sub group).

Another key difference is the composition, the full 16 car Kato model consists of a mix of 02000番台 and 0系1000番台 (from the top of my head, the 15形, 27形 and 36形 cars) cars, while the Microace R formation consists of a 0系1000番台 and 00番台 mix.


The N/Nh formations came to be as a result of the opening of the full Sanyō shinkansen in 1975, and the first batches of 0系0番台 cars reaching the end of their service lives in the same time period.

​With the opening of the full Sanyō shinkansen, and the corresponding increase in travel time for the services operating the full route from Tōkyō to Hakata, the original 16 car Hikari formations (H formations, formed in 1972 after the first Hikari revision) where thought to be inadequate.

With the addition of the 36形 diner cars (replacing one of the two 35形 buffet cars per formation) and corresponding 27形 cars (regular seating, though carrying some of the equipment needed for the 36形 cars to function, so they where always paired to a 36), the second revision was born.

With the first batches of 0系0番台 cars nearing the end of their service live (batches 1~5 built between 1964 and 1966) in the mid 1970's, as well as some of the deficiencies of the 0系0番台 cars coming to light near the end of their service lives (the original large windows proved to be costly to replace, and as they had a tendency to crack during the winter months (they where often damaged by thrown up debris, resulting in cracks in the triple layered glass), the original steel gauge used proved to be too thin in combination with the pressure sealed cars, this resulted in increased metal fatigue during their final years, as well as some smaller issues), as a result of this a few changes where made for the first of the replacement batches (batch 22) resulting in the 0系1000番台.


The 0系1000番台 (batch 22~29) introduced small windows (from 1460mm to 630mm for the normal cars, from 1870mm to 850mm for the green cars), some small changes in the electrical controller (camshaft type, CS46)  as well as a change from the DT200 type truck to the slightly updated DT200A. Also introduced with the 0系1000番台 was the replacement of the 35形 buffet car, the 37形 (also a buffet car, though with a different layout). The first 1000番台 cars where delivered on September 27th 1976 and production of new 1000番台 cars would continue until late 1980 (batches 22~29). While almost all of the 1000番台 cars where used as a replacement for an equal amount of 0番台 cars, the exception where three 16 car N formations (N97~N99) delivered between September and December of 1976. The three N formations where incidentally the only homogeneous 01000番台 formations built, the last homogeneous 0系 formations built as well as the final full 0系 formation built, period (all cars built afterwards where built for attrition only).


With the introduction of the 37形 buffet cars, J.N.R. introduced their final revision for the hikari formations. With new built 1000番台 replacing the oldest of the 0番台 cars and with a 37形 replacing the 35形 the "New Hikari" (or Nh) formations where born in 1976. Though often referred to simply as Nh formations, the Nh formation group actually consisted of H (H44~H89 with a few numbers missing) Nh (Nh1~Nh40 with a few higher numbers added after the 2000番台 introduction) and N formations (the aforementioned N97~N99 group). The H formations where post 1974 built 16 car formations of which the 35形0番台 was replaced by a 371000番台 while for a few formations one of the 26形700番台 (part of the 0番台) cars was replaced by a 261200番台 (part of the 1000番台). As the large majority of the cars where still of the 0番台, the formation designation stayed the same.

The Nh formations where formed using the H formations still using the oldest batches of 0番台 cars. Those formations where extended from 12 car formations to 16 car formations between December 1969 and 1973, as well as receiving new 27形 and 36形 cars between 1974 and 1976. This meant that the youngest cars in those formations where only a few years old at most when the oldest cars in the same formation reached the end of their service lives. As a result only the oldest cars where replaced by new 1000番台 cars, resulting in mixed 1000番台/0番台 formations. Those formations where designated using the Nh formation designation. The three new built 0系1000番台 formations mentioned before became N97~N99, resulting in a total of ninety-nine 16 car 0系 hikari formations in service by early 1977 (N/Nh/H formations) with forty-seven 16 car kodama formations in service (K formations).


As production of the 0系1000番台 continued into 1980 it became clear that the 0系 design, at that point 16 years old already, was rapidly starting to show it's age (A trait it shared with a number of 1960's J.N.R. high-performance era designs, chief example being the 103系 and to a lesser extend the 113系/115系) especially in regards to the interior. While at the same time the need remained to keep the replacement cycle for life expired cars going (in the same period a life extension program was launched by J.N.R. allowing for an increase in service life).

As the 1000番台 only contained technological and structural improvements in comparison to the 0番台, the design, especially the interior, started to become extremely dated and old fashioned.

With the first of the new 200系 prototypes being delivered in late 1978, and with the first 200系 production formations slated for delivery in October 1980, J.N.R. decided to incorporate some of the cosmetic features introduced by the 200系 into the last production batches of the 0系, and thus the 0系2000番台 was born.

The 2000番台 (batches 30~38) introduced a new seat design based on the 200系 then being introduced, while increasing seat pitch. As a result the passenger windows where enlarged again in comparison to the 1000番台 (from 630mm to 720mm for the ordinary cars, and from 850mm to 900mm for the green cars). The emergency exit hatches, prominent features for both the 0番台 and 1000番台 cars where eliminated, while the cab side windows (for the 21形2000番台 and 22形2000番台 end cars) where changed to a sliding design based on the 200系 design (though as both have a entirely different nose, it was only based on the concept of the 200系). Production of 2000番台 cars started in November 1981 and would continue until the 14th of April 1986 when the final 0系 car was delivered, and production switched to the then new 100系.

The 2000番台 cars where used as a replacement for life expired 0番台 cars, as such no homogeneous 0系2000番台 formations where produced.


As new built 2000番台 cars where delivered, they where once again used to replace life expired 0番台 cars of later batches, as well as freeing up 1000番台 cars to replace some of those cars as well.

As a result mixed 0番台/1000番台/2000番台 and 2000番台/0番台 formations where created. Which remained more or less the case until the end of the 16 car 0系 era in September 1999 (though those where Yk kodama formations). A number of new Nh formations where formed in this period as well, by the inclusion of 2000番台 in some of the remaining H formations.


After the J.N.R. split both JR West and JR Tōkai inherited the large fleet of hikari (N/Nh/H formations) and kodama (S/Sk) formations. Both JR Tōkai and JR West kept running a significant fleet of N/Nh/H formations, though JR West used some of their surplus cars to form 12 car Sk 'West Hikari' formations, while JR Tōkai used younger surplus cars from retired formations to extend their 12 car S/Sk kodama formations into 16 car Y/Yk kodama formations.

JR Tōkai kept using their Nh formations on hikari services on both the Tōkaidō and Sanyō shinkansen, until there where enough new 300系 formations on property to replace them, which happened in may 1995 when formation Nh49 (the final remaining JR Tōkai Nh formation) operated it's final service, JR Tōkai kept using it's Y/Yk formations for hikari services until 1998 (in adition to their main use on kodama services) when the final 0系 based hikari service was abolished.

JR West kept their formations for a while longer, eventually retiring them in march 1998 with the abolition of the last 0系 based hikari services. They kept formation Nh32 for school trips and occasional service, retiring in August of 1999 as the final Nh formation. This concludes the story of the Nh formations.


The R formations where formed as a result of the differing ridership statistics between the Tōkaidō and Sanyō shinkansen. While the Tōkaidō shinkansen is the busiest high speed rail line in the world, with enough riders a day to fill regularly fill a 16 car formation, the Sanyō shinkansen ridership isn't high enough to consistently fill 16 car formations all day round (though the capacity is certainly needed for more then a few trains, especially those running on both shinkansen).

As a result J.N.R. introduced the first 6 car R formation (formation R0) in 1985. Meant for lower ridership services among the Sanyō shinkansen.

With the J.N.R. split, and the subsequent transfer of ownership of the Sanyō shinkansen to JR West, JR West started the formation of more (W)R formations. Between 1987 and 1990, twenty-six (W)R formations where formed (R2~R27 though split between those who kept a 37形 car (among those the MA formation, R14) and those who didn't).

Starting in 1997, with the first of those cars reaching the end of their service life, renewal-ed cars from retiring Sk formations (5000番台 and 7000番台 cars, former 1000番台 and 200番台 cars) are used to replace the life expired cars, while newer 1000番台 cars are re-organized in other R formations. This process is completed in 2000 with the retirement of the final 0番台 cars in both the R and Q (4 car Q1~Q4) formations are retired, the oldest reaching 24 years of service.

Other surplus Sk formation cars are used to create the R61~R68 sub-group, further helping with the retirement of the remaining R2~30 (3 formations, R28~R30 where formed in 2000) formations. The last of the original R formations where retired in 2005, displaced by newly formed 100系 K (6 car) and Q (4 car) formations.

The final R formations of the R61~R68 group where the final 0系 formations to retire, retiring in November 2008 from regular service, a few extra special services in December and a final run on December 14th 2008, ending the 44 year story of the 0系 shinkansen.


Anyway, tldr; The mentioned Micro ace model represents 6 car JR West R formation R14 in the exact configuration of 1991 and 1992, with the same release, MA also released 16 car JR Tōkai Nh formation Nh49 as she appeared between 1993 and 1995, both include the exact configuration, including the correct sub-types (1000番台/0番台).


The Kato model though represents a representative J.N.R. 16 car Nh formation as it could've appeared between 1981 and 1987, they include a 2000番台/1000番台 mixed formation in the full formation. The problem is that a correct Nh formation of that time period (or any period, really) should've either included a few 0番台 cars to the mix (at least the 27形 and 36形 car should've been a 0番台, as the only three 1000番台 cars of the mentioned types where found in formation N97~N99), or it should've been a 2000番台/0番台 mix. The Kato model also caries numbers from different formations (at least Nh16, Nh5 and N99 from the top of my head, this is the 2005 renewal, the 50th anniversary addition uses different numbers for both the 4 car base set and 4 car extension set (a formation that eventually became property of JR Tōkai) creating an even weirder mix of numbers). That's not to say the Kato model is awful, it's still a good model (though thoroughly overshadowed by both the 2014 Tomix and MA models by now) and I'm personally happy with my own model (A 16 car set from the 2011 re-release), but the model is showing it's age, and is simply less prototypical (at least in terms of sub-types) then the MA models.

The pre-2014 Tomix 16 car formations where even worse though (no different sub-types, only the 2000番台 cars), even going as far as to print a 1000番台 number on a 2000番台 car for their final 16 car shinkansen set released in 2000 *shudders*.


Anyway, I hope this is useful information to you.





Some of my older work on the subject may also be of use to you in relation to this subject:






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hahah as always sander ;)

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JR 500系

Yap I knew Sander san would come up with the most accurate and comprehensive information when I saw the question posted regarding shinkansen ~~

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Indeed. I had the inkling of a vague idea to the answer but would never be able to express it in quite that detail.

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WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!This forum is so awesome.This is the most detailed answer I ever got in my live.It will take me a while to translate it into German.Thanks a bunch for your passionate explanation 200系 :) 

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200 is a marvel and we are honored that he shares his such great detailed knowledge with us as kindly as he does! Even though I never get near his level of detailed knowledge in my own train researches I find all his post fascinating to read ad for a bit get to learning that level of history!





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