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  1. I was thinking about the Sanko Line. I navigated to trusty Wikipedia and started clicking around. On the Japanese language page for Gotsu Station, there is a link to Wikimedia Commons, which has quite a few pictures. The newest pictures appear to be from May 3, 2018, well after the last day of service, March 31, 2018. In one, linked below, there's a KIHA47/8 at the platform, and the rails appear to be fairly free of rust. Were they regularly running trains to achieve this? If so, can anyone guess as to why? I searched a bit on gotsusen sabitori ressha, which didn't turn up anything useful. Removing the line name returned some information on the old Hanwa Freight line between Yao and Sugimoto-cho in Osaka-fu. I think I saw some of this back when they closed it; at the time I was surprised they ran 117s (in the old sorta-turquoise/pale purple Wakayama livery) to keep the rails free of rust. Could this have been prior to the approval of MLIT, meaning that it wasn't absolutely final? picture at Gotsu with KIHA: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:180503_Gotsu_Station_Gotsu_Shimane_pref_Japan05s3.jpg Commons page for Gotsu. At time of this post, first 16 images are from May 3 2018, name starting with '180503 Gotsu Station': https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Gōtsu_Station those images are by 663highland who takes excellent pictures, a few examples pictures in Shimane: https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/利用者:663highland/投稿画像ギャラリー・島根県 pictures in Kagoshima: https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/利用者:663highland/投稿画像ギャラリー・鹿児島県 pictures in Onomichi: https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/利用者:663highland/投稿画像ギャラリー・尾道市
  2. 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
  3. This isn't very new anymore, but I don't recall seeing anything about it... JR West introduced alphabetic line designations for the Kinki and Chugoku regions some time around August 2014. It was asked in an Ompuchaneru thread (http://rail-uploader.khz-net.com/index.php?id=37062) why there's a "Q" on the destination board of a Namba-bound rapid on the Yamatoji Line. The answer is that the Yamatoji Line (aka Kansai Main Line from Nara to JR Namba) is the Q Line. Apparently this is to help foreigners. JR West page with some graphics: https://www.westjr.co.jp/press/article/2014/08/page_5993.html I could really do with some higher-resolution versions of those images :)
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