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  1. Event begins today, at Tokyo International Forum in Yurakucho. http://www.uic-highspeed2015.com/index.html
  2. Most here are already familiar with this process, but it apparently is getting a lot of hits on youtube from outside Japan:
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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.bi
  6. A run early this morning from Shin Aomori. First time for this train.
  7. http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/recovery/AJ201505310013 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDOEM90AQ7k
  8. 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
  9. 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 sto
  10. 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 shap
  11. Early this morning, catenary poles on the Yamanote Line between Kanda and Akihabara fell over, disrupting services on both the Yamanote Line and Keihin Tohoku Line. Apparently the poles were not in use (decommissioned), but due to their age, collapsed. Service was disrupted for 9 hours, resuming again around 15:30. More news with specifics is to be out later this evening. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6G2SYEuVMc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CoUDopRUwr4
  12. In case anyone is interested, this program will be shown four times on Tuesday, 1:30 to 1:55, 7:30 to 7:55, 10:30 to 10:55, and 19:30 to. 19:55. All times UTC. program page: http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/tv/72hours/index.html main schedule: http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/tv/schedule/
  13. Sunday saw the e655 trainset make a run down to Shinagawa. Video taken at Tokyo Station.
  14. Among all the anticipation of the upcoming timetable revision with associated new or enhanced services, comes some less positive developments that are not particularly publicized. Referring to JR East's timetable revision, over 2700km worth of train services, including commute services (note: not rail lines) will be cut in the greater Tokyo metropolitan area. This is the greatest cut in services since the formation of JR in 1987. Reasons are declining population in the outer metropolitan regions, the closing of places of employment in those areas served by rail, and continuing advancement of
  15. Just a bit of trivia. Today on a morning TV news program, the gran class seating on the Tohoku Shinkansen and Hokuriku Shinkansen trains were compared. I didn't know this, but the seating is slightly different. First of all, the E5 seats are produced by a collaboration of Hitachi and Recaro. The E7 seats are produced by the same company that supplies seats to Lexus. The E7 seats are slightly (5mm) wider that the E5. However, the E5 seats recline more, by about 1.4 degrees. I didn't catch the beginning of the segment, there may have been other points.
  16. This Tetsudou Fan news item mentions the 川越貨物線, the Kawagoe Freight Line. A search on this turns up nothing. Is this an error? I don't see any obviously separate tracks on aerial maps, either. Infrequently used connector/bypass lines are a major interest of mine, what's this all about? :) http://railf.jp/news/2015/02/28/170000.html
  17. The JR East railway museum in Omiya will be showing a pair of special exhibitions from 3/14 to 6/21. Titled "Two Starts", one will examine the Hokuriku Shinkansen, the other the Ueno Tokyo Line. The Hokuriku Shinkansen exhibition will feature 1/20 scale models of the E7/W7, details of the tunnels and bridges along the route, snowfall countermeasures, and past limited express and express trains that ran between Tokyo and the Hokuriku region. The Ueno Tokyo Line exhibition will focus on the building of the elevated portion of the route, including the building over the Tohoku Shinkansen, and t
  18. It's rare to get such a good view of this line. In this case it's possible due to the modified 485 series NO.DO.KA joyful train used for this "Sakata Kandara Festival" service. The train is classified as a rapid, so there's no express surcharge, although all seats are reserved. The 3-car formation has 96 seats. I've been trying to fill in some background on this; the cities of Sakata and Tsuruoka, both in Yamagata Prefecture, have this festival (28th and 27th times, respectively) for kandara, which I believe is cod caught in cold water. A soup is made with it, which does not appear to b
  19. Lately we've discussed some possible JR East rolling stock replacement; I'm going to guess that the 255 series, used for limited express services from Tokyo out to Chiba prefecture, still has a few years ahead of it. Tetsudou News has an item (http://railf.jp/news/2015/02/14/180000.html) about refubishment work done on formation Be05. Apparently it went to Omiya from its regular depot of Makuhari on October 9, and while getting a full inspection, had its inverter updated to an IGBT type from a VVVF type. I think the pans were also replaced, but with the same two-arm types. It looks like it
  20. Another JR East hybrid DMU emerges, looks like the same body as the E129: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:HB-E210_C1_C2_Zushi_20150113.JPG http://railf.jp/news/2015/01/17/171000.html
  21. Spotted yesterday at Yokohama Station, an e233 set in revenue service (not a test/maintenence train) on the Keihin Tohoku Line, with an intermediate car equipped with a track monitoring device, which includes an LED setup with camera, and a laser device, to detect track irregularities and conditions. It makes for a little light show at night. somebodys's video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tx7eg0T2Cm0 JR East press release: https://www.jreast.co.jp/press/2013/20130502.pdf *these trains will run until March, between Ofuna and Omiya. If you are in the area in the evening, kee
  22. Dec. 19 JR East had a press release with the most detailed information to date regarding service changes with the upcoming timetable revision this March. Including the Hokuriku Shinkansen, and of most interest to me, the timetable for the Ueno-Tokyo Line. brief notes: *Southbound through trains off the Takasaki and Utsunomiya Lines, other than those terminating at Shinagawa, will continue on the Tokaido Line to either Hiratsuka/Kozu/Odawara/or Atami. A few services will even go as far as Ito or Numazu, for example, the weekday 20:24 from Utsunomiya (futsu 1635E) will reach Numazu at 0:37,
  23. In 2017, JR East will update and expand its Railway Museum near Omiya Station. It will be the museum's 10th anniversary, and 30th anniversary of the establishment of the company itself. Built south of the existing structure, the addition will raise the museum's total display space to 14,800 square meters, about 1.5 times its present size. There will be various themes including work, history, the future, and travel in the context of railways, in addition to the main hall's themes of rolling stock and science, presenting a variety of view points on the history of railways and people. Th
  24. Tetsudou Journal has a news item about JR East's refurbed E653s, renumber as 1100 subseries, to be used on the Shirayuki service that will run between Niigata and Arai on the Shin'etsu Main Line. It will begin in March 2015 with the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen. There will be four 4-car formations. Looks good. Tetsudou Journal and Wikipedia links, and YT video (uploaded by Rail Channel, formerly tobu2181), below. http://railf.jp/news/2014/10/28/173000.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E653_series http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shirayuki_%28train%29
  25. At the recent InnoTrans 2014, JR East had a driving simulator for the E5 at their booth, all of the cab displays were converted to English.
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