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  1. Railfan Magazine News has an article about the third sector company that will take over JR Hokkaido's Esashi Line (the portion that JRH themselves didn't shut down, anyway). The English name will be South Hokkaido Railway Company, and the line will be renamed the Isaribi Line. The company's Japanese name will be Dōnan Isaribi Tetsudō. According to the Wikipedia article, they'll run 9 KIHA40s. I think all will be transferred from JRH, but only 2 will get the livery and interior treatment shown in the links below. They'll be nicknamed Nagamare. The livery is a very dark blue or violet color, like the night sky, and there's an outline of Mt. Hakodate's silhouette and the stars of the night sky. Below the silhouette there are yellow and orange dots representing town lights of southern Hokkaido as well as gyoka, lights used to lure fish during nighttime fishing. The interior will feature refurbished seats with headrests, and ekiben tables will be added made of south Hokkaido cedar. These cars will run on both chartered and regularly scheduled services. Tetsudo News: http://railf.jp/news/2016/02/05/140000.html English Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Hokkaido_Railway_Company Company homepage in Japanese: http://www.shr-isaribi.jp/ Company page with same rendering of exterior as well as an interior rendering: http://www.shr-isaribi.jp/info/622/
  2. 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.
  3. The Takayama Line's KIHA40 and KIHA48 DMUs saw their last run on June 30th. These were based at Mino-Ota. They'll be replaced by KIHA25s removed from the Taketoyo Line following its electrification. KIHA40s have already been removed from the Taita Line (anyone ever actually ride this? :)) From July 1st, all local service on the Takayama Line between Gifu and Inotani will be operated by KIHA25 and KIHA75 DMUs. The last KIHA40 service was train 1731D which departed Gifu at 7:09 PM for Shimo-asō. JR Central continues to run KIHA40s on the Kise and Sangu lines, but there are already plans to replace them with KIHA25s, and plans to retire all JNR-era DMUs within the year. There will be a public announcement regarding the transfer of retired DMUs to Myanmar. http://railf.jp/news/2015/07/02/100000.html Last run, 1731D at Gifu, by hakase1990: 8-car formation (not in service) moving from Mino-Ota Station to the yard. Apparently these have Cummins engines. By AKE BOVOAKE:
  4. 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
  5. Last month testing occured with a DF200 diesel on the winter-season (and perennially threatened) Sekihoku Line onion trains. As JR Freight's public reason for discontinuance of this train was the life-expiration of the dd51 motive power, successful replacement with the DF200 may prolong this interesting service. At Engaru (movement begins at about 0:45): And for all you kiha 40 fans, a warm season scene on the Sekihoku Line, at Jomon. 4 car train 4653D, an Engaru-Abashiri service, reminiscent of JNR era express trains: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dihx7bMNNIg
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