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  1. JR East took delivery of another HB-E300 trainset, intended for service as the Resort Shirakami Buna. Currently there is a modified KIHA40 formation with this name. This left J-Trec as a 3-car set: Car 1, HB-E301-5 Car 2, HB-E300-105 Car 4, HB-E302-5 Obviously car 3 is missing; its body will be also be built by J-Trec, but will be shipped to Akita Depot for final assembly. A tour of the train is scheduled for July 9 before revenue operation begins on July 16th. I think it's a nice basic design and a pleasant color/livery, even if it's just a wrap. Buna means Japanese beech, which I guess is what's illustrated on the side of the train. From a railfan point of view, this type has large windshields as well as large windows behind the driver's station, making for a nice view ahead (visible in these threads http://www.jnsforum.com/community/topic/7337-jr-east-tsugaru-line-shin-aomori-to-mimmaya and http://www.jnsforum.com/community/topic/3415-some-tohoku-scenery and I thought Bill posted some recently but now I can't find them :( ) http://railf.jp/news/2016/05/27/170000.html The second video above is at Shitte, and the third is at Nishi-Kokubunji. I assume this traveled by the Musashino South Line (a freight bypass), but after studying a map for literally minutes, I think the Nambu Line would have been possible too. Subsequent locations are Fukiage and Takasaki, so I guess they're just going straight up the Joetsu Line to Niigata and then on to Akita along the Sea of Japan. Sounds like a cool ride :). The presumably outgoing KIHA40-based Buna formation at Ueno on April 10 for a sort of open day:
  2. I often think about long-haul rides on conventional lines. In particular, Aomori to Kyoto and Kyoto to Shimonoseki on the lines on the Sea of Japan. I've done most but not all of the Kyoto-to-Shimonoseki half in separate runs, but none of the northeastern part. Have any of you? The parts of the San'in that I've traveled, I think were almost all worth doing by local train. What about the Tohoku/Hokuriku region? But it looks like a much longer distance, possibly double. I wonder if I'd be tempted to pay out for a limited express ticket
  3. For anyone interested in modelling rural northern Honshu, this is a must see. I recommend it for everyone else as well :). This is a 3-video series by YT uploader karibajct. JR East's hybrid HB-E300 trains entered into service in October 2010 in two general locations: Aomori and Yamagata in far northwestern Honshu, and Nagano, Yamanashi, and Niigata, the Koshinetsu region roughly in northern central Honshu. There are only 10 cars in 4 trainsets, three 2-car sets and one 4-car set. In these videos we see a 2-car Resort Asunaro set on the Resort Asunaro Tappi service. Starting at Shin-Aomori, the train goes to Aomori and then reverses to take the Tsugaru Line (not the Tsugaru Kaikyo Line) to Mimmaya. Karibajct made these recordings on April 13, 2013, and there's still snow on the ground in some places. Shin-Aomori to Shin-Aburakawa - 8:50 arrives at Aomori, 14:10 passes Aomori Depot, there are some E751 intermediate cars and some Kanto-area rolling stock stored here. Shin-Aburakawa junction to Kanita - some Tsugaru Shamisen around 13:50 Kanita to Mimmura - the Tsugaru and Tsugaru Kaikyo lines split at Shin-Nakaoguni junction at 7:45, and the Hokkaido Shinkansen is under construction at 10:10. Lonely, lonely Mimmura Station is at 33:55. Wikipedia articles: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HB-E300_series http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsugaru_Line http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aomori_Station http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minmaya_Station Google map centered between Shin-Aomori and Aomori: http://maps.google.com/?ll=40.825988,140.723963&spn=0.026824,0.048022&t=m&z=15 Google map centered on Kanita Station, about halfway along the line: http://maps.google.com/?ll=41.038076,140.642445&spn=0.013369,0.024011&t=m&z=16 Google map centered on Mimmaya Station: http://maps.google.com/?ll=41.186018,140.444562&spn=0.013339,0.024011&t=m&z=16
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