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  1. OHK (Okayama Broadcasting) has posted some interesting archival footage of the Kibi Line (Okayama-Soja) and around Okayama Station from the 70s and 80s. 1:30 - Bizen Mikado Station. Tickets were available from the shop in front of the station, Nagahara Shoten. 2:20 - Kiha 10 or related type arrives. Students at Kanzei and Okayama Joshi high schools use the station a lot. 2:45 - Bitchu Takamatsu Station. Saijo Inari Gate is immediately northeast of the station, and the Saijo Inari temple complex is a few kilometers up the road. 3:50 - Soja Station. You can see the outline of the former lettering. Once upon a time, Soja was West Soja, and present day East Soja was Soja. 4:30 - Slightly west of Okayama Station, an at-grade crossing causes a lot of backups. Someone in a small white car is in a big hurry. Later in the video we'll see the work to elevate this section of the line. 5:05 - Okayama station, June 1978. A shiny new Kiha 47 arrives at the platform. 5:50 - Higashi (east) Soja. Renewal of the station is complete. I used this station during 2003, this is how I remember it. Based on Google Street View, it's still like this. 6:15 - A Kiha58/28 comes in. I used to go to Okayama City for Japanese class, rolling stock was Kiha 40s 99% of the time, but on a few occasions these were used. I remember riding a bright yellow one with white stripes, and a purple/teal paint job, possibly the Kyuko Notoji and Sakkyu liveries. 6:40 - A statue of Sesshu Toyo is unveiled in the Soja ekimae rotary. 7:10 - Bizen Ichinomiya. If I understand the narration, she is a maybe a contract employee of JNR? She looks like she's in charge. 7:40 - Prelude to the elevetion of the section of track shown at 4:30 8:10 - September 1986, the twilight of JNR. The elevated track is cut in and all is well. 9:00 - December 1988, Bitchu Takamatsu again. A Kiha 40, now with the JR logo, arrives. A new north gate is planned for the station for the convenience of those en route to Saijo Inari. The large gate is shown at 9:25 9:40 - C56 160 is motive power for Kibiji-go excursions for only 3 days during golden week. At the end there's some talk of converting this line to LRT. I've been reading about that before I even lived there, still nothing doing. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kibi_Line https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sesshū_Tōyō
  2. Media report on the approx. 80% complete Umekita station complex on the former JR Freight terminal adjacent to JR Osaka Station. Two island platforms/four through tracks layout with full length platform screen doors that will accommodate different rolling stock types. Projected opening spring 2023.
  3. JR West announced Feb. 16 that the 381 series currently in use on the Yakumo Ltd. express services between Izumo-shi and Okayama will be replaced starting in spring 2024 by new rolling stock, designated the 273 series. This will utilize a bogie mounted pendulum tilting system rather than the recently more common/favored air bag cushion system, as experience on JR Shikoku lines has shown the limitations of the air bag system on routes with numerous/continuous curves. Likely mechanism will be similar to JR Shikoku's 2700 series, with a carbody based on the 287 series or similar. In addition a single consist of the 381 series will be repainted in JNR ltd. express colors and debut this month (3/19~), to commemorate 50 years of Yakumo service. https://www.westjr.co.jp/press/article/items/220216_03_yakumo.pdf
  4. MBS news report of the 50th anniversary of the start of special rapid service trains in the Kansai region. Sun TV report of same, plus information on A seat service, headmark:
  5. Here's an oldie but goodie. This is Sonobe to Kyoto on March 4, 1989 (according to the video, the description says March 2) aboard the Asashio #6. Rolling stock appears to be a KIHA181. Quite a good document of the changes occurring on the line--the tunnels between Saga Arashiyama and Umahori would be spliced in the next day, bypassing what is now the Sagano Scenic Railway. In addition to this, you can see a few other differences, for example the line is not yet electrified, and old station buildings can be seen in several places including Sonobe, Nijo (old ground level building with at-grade tracks and a freight yard), and Kyoto itself. A few historical points from around this time, courtesy of wikipedia: April 1, 1987: we all know this one, this became JR West territory following the dissolution of JNR. JR Freight became a second-sector operator in the Kyoto-Nijo section. Freight operations ceased from Nijo all the way out to Koyama in Tottori. March 13, 1988: the "Sagano Line" nickname appeared March 5, 1989: the new section of track between Saga and Umahori opens, reducing distance by 1.6 km. Until the opening of the Sagano Scenic Railway, the old section saw no traffic. March 11, 1989: Uzumasa Station opened March 10, 1990: the Kyoto-Sonobe portion of the line was electrified April 27, 1991: the Sagano Scenic Railway opened September 4, 1994: Saga Station was renamed Saga-Arashiyama March 16, 1996: the Nijo-Hanazono section was elevated, and freight was cut back to Tambaguchi September 23, 2000: the Nijo-Hanazono section was double-tracked, and Emmachi Station opened. Morning and midday rapids were added. Sonobe to Kyoto on March 4, 1989 by Man Tani And the same section on September 24, 2018 by ato5kgyasetaito
  6. 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
  7. While gathering more info for my Japanese vacation that will happen someday, I happened upon this Wikipedia article. This is another new museum within JR West's operating area, apparently to be operated by them and to open around the same time as the new Umekoji museum. Some of the rolling stock is from the Osaka Modern Transportation Museum. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsuyama_Railroad_Educational_Museum https://www.westjr.co.jp/press/article/2015/10/page_7843.html
  8. In case any of you have the Tetsudo Collection models of these two cars, here's all the detail you'll ever need . The Kyoto Railway Museum is making great use of that display track. Some months ago they had EF210-310, fresh from the factory. These were built from two 101 series cars in December 1981. KURU 144-15 started life as KUHA 101-32, built September 21, 1964, while KUMORU 145-1015 was originally KUMOHA 101-13, built August 22, 1958. There is a note with the information about 101-13, but I can't quite make it out. by Dr. Yellow move by charonzoom by Ayokoi
  9. Here's one from the Japanese rail news feeds: a new KIHA40 refurb to be operated on the far western sections of the San'in Line. I first thought it was just a wrap, but then I noticed the non-JNR interior :). The trafficnews.jp article mentions that this is the successor to the Misuzu Shiosai; I don't understand if they mean that in spirit, because that service ceased in late January and this one will begin in September, or if these are the same 2 cars. The name has (what I assume are considered) punctuation in it, and it would be read Maru Maru no Hanashi. I believe it's a play on words and I'll leave a proper translation to someone else. Anyway, in this case hanashi is not 'talk' or 'discussion' but a sort of acronym for Hagi, Nagato, and Shimonoseki, where the train will operate. http://railf.jp/news/2017/06/01/160000.html https://trafficnews.jp/post/72013/
  10. Here's a very interesting video, estimated by the uploader to be 1987, soon after the privatization of JNR. This is a ride on an 8-car formation of 12 series coaches behind DD51 1190 between Kyoto and Umahori. There's a lot of interesting things to be seen; the old San'in platforms at the old Kyoto Station with an escape track(?), sidings and trackside structures that no longer exist, the original Nijo station building, the section between Saga Arashiyama and Umahori that still uses what's now the Sagano Scenic Railway, and some views of the construction of the tunnels that bypass it. The uploader is 旅一郎, perhaps Tabitaro based on his blog URL http://ameblo.jp/tabitaro1234/ although I had guessed Tabi Ichiro. His YT channel has several other mid/late '80s era videos, check 'em out.
  11. Interesting video, location is the Shimayacho Crossing, near Ajikawaguchi Station on JR West Yumesaki Line. Numerous shots of the various types of commercial trucks that can be seen. This YouTube user has other railway crossing videos of locations in the Kansai area.
  12. One of my favorite railway scenes is the mid route turnback operation, typically done by a local train that doesn't traverse the whole route, but rather only serves the most heavily patronized portion. On the the heavily trafficked, heavily built up routes, typically a pair of pocket tracks is provided, and thus is not as interesting. What is interesting is when a portion of the down mainline is used for the turnback, with a bit of wrong way running before the crossover is traversed. Last week I was on the Nishitetsu Omuta Line, and observed such a movement at Futsukaichi Station. Unfortunately, no video exists for this particular moment at this location, but a similar one is shown here, at Ogori Station, involving a now retired 2000 series: I've posted this before, same type of movement on the Meitetsu Main Line at Higashi Okazaki: Another scene I witnessed at Joyo Station on the JR Nara Line. This involves a pocket track, but it's on a single track main, so it maintains some interest (starting at 3:00):
  13. Two 4-car formations of the 225 series 100 subseries left the Kinki factory on February 23rd for Aboshi Depot. The cab facade has the same appearance as the 227 series, the 3rd generation 521 series, and the upcoming 323 series, although the exterior displays above the gangway doors and windshields are full color (I think). I'm sure it's got various improvements, but I feel JRW peaked with the 223 http://railf.jp/news/2016/02/24/170000.html
  14. This looks interesting, a version of Monopoly with familiar places and companies replaced with... well it's hard to see, but it's got to do with Osaka :) http://railf.jp/news/2015/11/27/000000.html http://www.westjr.co.jp/press/article/2015/11/page_7960.html
  15. JR West presses on with adding fall preventers to various models, namely 221, 223, and 225 series. I'd be interested to know how long it will take to fit the whole fleet. My impression is that it's slow going, but I'm not sure. 227 and later subseries 521s have them from the factory, presumably 323 series will too. December 8 news item about 221 series: http://railf.jp/news/2015/12/10/170000.html December 4 news item about 225 series: http://railf.jp/news/2015/12/05/204500.html July 31 news item about 223-0 series: http://railf.jp/news/2015/08/01/205000.html July 9 news item about 223-6000 series: http://railf.jp/news/2015/07/11/210000.html 223-2000 at Shin-Osaka: 221 out of service on its way back to Kansai from Shimonoseki:
  16. bikkuri bahn

    JR West bans selfie sticks

    News from last month. Good move. http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201509180058
  17. Was a rare oportunity to visit those vehicles only 2 days 10/10 and 10/11, inside have a pictures to how was build and some new papers saying about the new tech for future shinkansen trains, i was alowed for only 1 minute in the drive seat :( The 300X JRCentral later 700 Series, STAR21 JREast E2, E3 and WIN350 JRWest 500 Series are all experimental vehicles that were used to test high-speed technology for future shinkansen. Not only are these trains on display, but visitors can actually go inside them. edit: i upload all the pics from my quick visit there so enjoy :D
  18. Another KIHA40-based (KIHA40 2027) excursion train has emerged from JR West's Matto shop. Called the Belles Montagnes et Mer (Berumonta in Japanese), it will run on the Johana and Himi Lines. Great livery on this one... http://railf.jp/news/2015/09/11/153000.html http://rail.hobidas.com/rmn/archives/2015/09/jr_2024.html No suitable YouTube material yet, there must be a lack of railfans up in Hokuriku.
  19. 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
  20. Yet another KIHA40-based joyful train, looks quite good although I think my favorite is still JR Shikoku's Iyonada Monogatari. This is the Hanayome Noren, intended for limited express sightseeing service on the Nanao Line, which will begin October 3rd. The livery is meant to look like the lacquerware from Wajima, a city on the northwest side of the Noto Peninsula. http://railf.jp/news/2015/08/27/100000.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanao_Line http://www.samurai-japan.biz/other/af_wajima/ http://www.jnsforum.com/community/topic/8898-jr-shikoku-kiro47-iyo-nada-monogatari/ good video of August 23rd open day at Kanazawa Depot, this train is featured at 6:00: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8Ba9NuVj_w
  21. NHK's Shin-Nihon Kikou. First aired July 25th, 1979.
  22. replete with video. yikes http://www.2427junction.com/mmrrbej81.html
  23. JR West is converting 683-2000 series trains to DC-only and calling them 289 series. It's not clear based on the two links below whether the AC capability was just locked out, or if hardware was removed. These are surplus to requirements after the March timetable revision, which must have been fairly dramatic as the 289 series will apparently be 85 cars total when everything is converted. JRW got only 27 cars from Hokuetsu if I understand it correctly, so it's not just because of that. These will replace all 381 series at Suita and Fukuchiyama depots, and be used on Hashidate, Kinosaki, Kounotori, and Kuroshio services. http://railf.jp/news/2015/05/28/160000.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/289_series http://news.mynavi.jp/news/2015/04/28/381/ Red stripe a la 287 series, and new number plate:
  24. Have we decided on whether we're writing KUHANE or KuHaNe? Anywho, KuHaNe 581-53, which is now all that's left of JR West 583 series formation B6, had been stored at Suita since its last Kitaguni run, a seasonal service sometime around new year 2013. It's now at Umekoji, to be displayed at the Kyoto Railway Museum that's set to open in a little over a year. It has been restored to its JNR-era livery, and as you can see in the link, JNR emblems have been put in place below the cab windows, as they would have been. http://railf.jp/news/2015/02/15/193000.html on a related note, it looks like the old Modern Transportation Museum domain is hosting a page for the new museum: http://www.mtm.or.jp/kyoto
  25. First I thought this was the truest expression of tetsudou mania I'd seen in a while--someone noticed that EF510-1 was taken to Umekoji (from Suita, not its home base of Toyama) to be turned 180 degress. Is this for wheel wear? Or maybe for repair purposes, as it wasn't driven there under its own power? But then, it seems common to use a DE10 or whatever to move other locos around. Handy having Umekoji available, else they'd have wye it somewhere. http://railf.jp/news/2015/01/23/163000.html
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