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Last week JR Hokkaido announced that this summer stainless-steel 733 series emus will be introduced on the airport kaisoku services running between Otaru and Shin-Chitose Airport. These will be 6 car formations, with 5 cars in all-longitudinal seating configuration and one car with reserved ticket airline-style seating ("U-seat"). The 733 series used for these services will be designated the 3000 subseries. Current 733 series units are run in 3 car formations, or in formations with other types as 6 cars. With the introduction of these units, the remaining 1960's era 711 series emus will be retired by the end of the fiscal year. http://www.jrhokkaido.co.jp/press/2014/140514-1.pdf 733 series on the Chitose Line between Shimamatsu and Kita-Hiroshima: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFbqOVZbgbM Simultaneous arrival of two 733 series trains at Shiroishi (the one on the right is coupled with a 731 series):
This is a day or two old now, but JR Hokkaido President Nojima said to the MLIT committee of the upper house of the Diet (doing my best here, not really sure about this ) that JRH will buy 28 new express DMUs and 60 new commuter EMUs by 2016. These will replace some old cars as well as provide new capacity. It will be decided later exactly how many cars will be scrapped, and what lines/areas will get the new equipment. One specific thing mentioned is that some of the new cars will be 733s to replace the 48 711s in service, all of which are to be retired by the end of this year. http://www.hokkaido-np.co.jp/news/donai/507045.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/711_series