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  1. Source: http://www.the-japan-news.com/news/article/0002920296
  2. Well, got some pics of the last run of this overnight train. Already an hour before the train was to depart, a scrum of fans and TV camera crews were at the end of platform 4 at Sapporo Station. Wanting to avoid the tyro carnival, I caught a local train and got off at one of my favorite photo spots in the Sapporo area, Kami Nopporo Station. I estimate about 25~30 railfans and a smattering of general public with cameras were there. Helpfully there were periodic annoucements for railway staff (gyoumu renraku) informing the location of the train- it departed Sapporo one minute late and also passed Shiroishi Station one minute behind schedule. Somewhat thankfully it clouded up a bit before it passed through Kami Nopporo, lessening the harsh shadows as it was late afternoon with somewhat oblique side sunlight. Two DD51 lead: Rear of train. Please excuse the balding bobble head on the right, it was out of my control: As a bonus, several minutes later, a container freight passed through, led by rather smoky DF200-104:
  3. In preparation for the special Twilight Express San'in Course service to be operated from July 25th, a 4-car formation of 24 series passenger cars was tested in western Honshu. The route passed through Okayama, north to Yonago via the Hakubi Line, west to the end of the San'in Main Line at Shimonoseki, then back to Miyahara Depot in Osaka via the San'yo Main Line. Motive power was EF65 1133 and DD51 1191. Hobidas News: http://rail.hobidas.com/rmn/archives/2015/07/jrdd51244.html JR West: http://www.jr-odekake.net/navi/kankou/twilight_plan/#train03 Sankei news on future Twilight Express Mizukaze w/ route map: http://www.sankei.com/west/news/150618/wst1506180091-n1.html On the Kobe Line (Tokaido/San'yo Lines between Osaka and Himeji) by k arata
  4. In connection with the 100th anniversary of the opening of Tokyo Station, JR East is running a one-day only revival run of the Blue Train Fuji, which was at one time the longest distance overnight service in the nation, and which was discontinued in 2009. The train will run on Dec. 19, from Tokyo Station to Ito Station in Shizuoka Pref., one-way only. The train will be a 6 car consist. Tickets will not be available through the usual ticket windows midori no madoguchi, but rather through travel agencies. http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/national/20140903-OYT1T50166.html Fuji in happier, JNR days:
  5. I think I may have posted this video before, but it's a nice Hitachi PR film worth seeing again, about the introduction of the 20 series rolling stock on the Asakaze overnight service between Tokyo and Hakata. This rolling stock, along with the 151 series ltd. express emu, the kiha 80 dmu, and 101/103 series, came to symbolize the modernization of Japanese railways and indeed a symbol of postwar recovery (culminating in the 0 series shinkansen). To the average passenger circa 1958, seeing these smooth welded steel designs pull up to the platform for the first time must have been a revelation, coaching stock hitherto having been heavyweight riveted steel types. They certainly look beautiful fresh out of the Hitachi plant at Kasado in their blue with white striping. The body shell design was based on the earlier 10 series express stock, which in turn incorporated ideas from the SBB's Leichtstahlwagen design. Notice the film focuses often on the bogies, emphasizing the ride quality of the stock, important considering that these were for night train use.
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