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  1. JR West announced Feb. 16 that the 381 series currently in use on the Yakumo Ltd. express services between Izumo-shi and Okayama will be replaced starting in spring 2024 by new rolling stock, designated the 273 series. This will utilize a bogie mounted pendulum tilting system rather than the recently more common/favored air bag cushion system, as experience on JR Shikoku lines has shown the limitations of the air bag system on routes with numerous/continuous curves. Likely mechanism will be similar to JR Shikoku's 2700 series, with a carbody based on the 287 series or similar. In addition a single consist of the 381 series will be repainted in JNR ltd. express colors and debut this month (3/19~), to commemorate 50 years of Yakumo service. https://www.westjr.co.jp/press/article/items/220216_03_yakumo.pdf
  2. On Japanese television there have been reports of test runs that will take place in search of a replacement for the 381 series on the Yakumo limited express service. The television program shows a JR Shikoku 8600 series, although according to one of the comments on the Facebook post there have been test runs with this train type on JR West territory already last month. Source: https://www.facebook.com/groups/lovekokutetsutype/permalink/1482471928487919/ (JNR fan page on Facebook)
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