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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:
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