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Ticket sales open for JR East cruise train Shiki-shima

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bikkuri bahn

It was already among the most expensive, and now the new luxury sleeper train from East Japan Railway Co. (JR East) is the hottest ticket in Japan, too.

 

Wealthy would-be passengers clamored for tickets as JR East on July 5 released the first batch to travel on the Train Suite Shiki-shima (Island of four seasons) for journeys departing between May and June 2017.

 

There were 1,234 applications for the 187 rooms available, giving hopefuls a one in 6.6 chance of getting a ticket.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201607060047.html
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Jensen

Would love to give it a try, but its way out of budget!

950000yen each (about 7300 GBP) I could get 2x 1st class airfares with green/grand class tickets in additional to a week of 5 star hotel above the train station (Tokyo/Nagoya).

 

I thought Kyushu Seven Star was insanely price, never believe it could get higher.

Are some of the Japanese people that rich? Willing to spend that much on 4 day/ 3 night train journey.

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bikkuri bahn

^^

Retired people (especially) have a lot of savings, and a lot of time, thus the demand.  I'm sure there were inquiries from potential customers from other NE Asian nations too.

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kvp

They are already covered for the next 6.6 seasons.

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miyakoji

Here's a promotional video on JR East's YT channel.  There doesn't seem to be any sound.

 

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katoftw

Here's a promotional video on JR East's YT channel.  There doesn't seem to be any sound.

You find more videos once the thing is built and completed.  Same thing happened with the 7 stars trains promos.

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westfalen

As long as the revenue is used to keep the lines open so us mere mortals can continue to travel over them on our JR passes.

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Sacto1985

Is this the train set starting to take shape?

 

http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/superhakuto7000hot/archive/2016/8/20?m=lc

 

Yep. It appears the photos and that video was taken at the KHI Hyogo assembly facility. It's likely both the Shikishima and Twilight Express Mizukaze trainsets could be officially unveiled by late this fall.

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ayokoi

6 Sep 2016,"Train Suite Shiki-shima" delivered from Kawasaki Heavy Industries to Oku depot.

 

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stevenh

Woooooooaaahhhh.... Stunning.

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Eurostar25

The train set is visually striking but I couldn't help notice one side of the train is made up entirely of small windows, the other side has a mix of small and medium sized ones, the small ones just seemed a bit odd to me, perhaps not intended for viewing out of.

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Sacto1985

Another YouTube user did a longer video of the TRAIN SUITE Shiki-Shima trainset being shipped out from KHI's Hyogo assembly line, first by a JNR Class DE10 locomotive and then later a JNR Class EF66 electric lotomotive:

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bikkuri bahn

The train set is visually striking but I couldn't help notice one side of the train is made up entirely of small windows, the other side has a mix of small and medium sized ones, the small ones just seemed a bit odd to me, perhaps not intended for viewing out of.

That's because of the all-suite layout of the train- one side of the interior will consist of open spaces which naturally couples with having big windows, while the other side has a hodepodge of utilities, corridors, and private spaces (i.e. toilets, bath/shower) not conducive to installing large windows.

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Eurostar25

Thanks for that, it just looked so different to the other cruise train layouts like the Cassiopeia. Keen to see this in the flesh now!

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katoftw

Although a good look train.  I wonder if the design is too radical and over the top?

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cteno4

I think it's now all about distinguishing themselves visually and forum over function usually happens then...

 

It will be interesting to see how the little Windows on the utility side work out in the interior space. This is always an issue on boat interiors as on smaller utility spaces get small and cramped and a window can help them not feel bad, except I've seen cases where the window was tiny and it a very bad location and all it did was hilight it was an odd and very cramped space.

 

I'm expecting this one to have a very sleek interior design.

 

Jeff

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kvp

This design will needs some thought about which side should face what direction as for example the view of mount Fuji would not be so grand through those small windows, that otherwise resemble the wooden balcony cover grids seen on many japanese buildings.

 

The more traditional european saloon sleeper design used conventional drop down panoramic windows and glass compartement corridor side panels that could be covered with curtains or blinds when the passengers wanted some privacy. The communal spaces lacked corridors and were used as saloons, so each car was a combined lounge/diner/sleeper. Bathrooms were inserted between rooms with smaller width panoramic windows that were milk white, but could be still opened. The corridor side had one larger normal window instead of two half width. This kept the symmetry of full windows and offered each room panoramic view to both sides (one through the glass corridor wall). Utility rooms (crew/hvac) were next to the end doors while the saloon was usually in the middle. This general layout was in use from the early 1st class 4 axle sleepers to the end of the saloon sleeper era in the early 1980ies. Later many saloons were converted into extra rooms, otherwise leaving the see through layout intact.

 

ps: sorry for the long off part, but early japanese blue train cars also followed this nice and symmetric design that imho were more elegant and offered much better views for the passengers

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bikkuri bahn

^^

Yeah, those Europeans always have the answers to everything. Whatever...

 

Anywhoo, the trainset, E001 was out testing both in diesel mode at night and also in electric mode, unfortunately the weather was not ideal:

 

 

 

 

*hat tip to quashlo over at SSC for the heads up

Edited by bikkuri bahn

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utrainia

Looks great! Why does it have so many pantographs though? Different voltages? Or just in case one or two or three pantographs fail, it still has a backup??

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kvp

It might need all the power as each pantograph has a current limit, which could be a serious problem in DC operation, where the voltage is lower. This is why some of the older electric locomotives had multiple (usually two) pantographs up at the same time. AC operation usually needs less, since the same current means higher power at the higer voltage of the AC network. There could be different pantographs for AC and DC operation (with different roof equipment as seen on many old multivoltage JNR sets) and from the videos this could mean 4 pantographs up in DC mode and 2 in AC, which seems ok for a 6 motor 4 trailer set. From the description, it seems the unit can be operated from 1500V DC, 20 kV 50/60 Hz AC and 25 kV 50 Hz AC, which allows it to run on most electrified JR tracks in Japan including the Seikan tunnel. The two generators in the end cars, this means it can run on every line it fits into the loading gauge, but i wonder if the top speed is decreased in diesel electric hybrid mode.

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utrainia

Thanks, I had a look for a roof shot of it but couldn't find anything, so hard to say if the pantographs are different. Certainly in Europe a multi system loco has different pantographs for each system, with different heights, widths, shake, etc. Gets very busy when a single loco has 4 pantos on it! In one of the videos above you can see it operating with all 4 pantographs up though, so that suggests they aren't different? Operationally a very interesting train...

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kvp

The trick is that it has more than 4 pantographs on the 4 non driving motor cars. Two cars have two and the other two at least one, so 6 or 8 in total. The same arrangement was often used on JNR era emu-s with one shared DC pantograph per motor car pair, but only one or two AC pantographs (and main transformers) per the whole set.

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utrainia

Finally found some pictures of the roof, appears to only have 4 pantographs? The opposite end of each non driving motor car appears to just have HV isolators etc. http://www7days.blog.fc2.com/blog-entry-46.html

 

That would suggest that some pantographs do double duty as AC pantos... wouldn't that mean though that the pantograph wiring has to be sized for both 1500VDC currents and 25kVAC voltages?

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