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  1. 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
  2. 4 sets x 6 car consists to be introduced by 2023, on the Skytree/Nikko/Kinugawa Lines. Slated to become the flagship of the fleet. Will be built by Hitachi Kasado. https://tetsudo-ch.com/11937581.html Tobu press release: https://www.tobu.co.jp/cms-pdf/releases/20211111115910j-Hxsy54wjgySVaKcD-UrQ.pdf
  3. On March 15, JR East will introduce the limited express "Shonan" (weekday AM and PM peak service only) between Odawara and Tokyo/Shinjuku, using refurbished e257 stock. These will replace 185 series and 215 series stock used in the various existing "Shonan Liner" services, which will be discontinued. There will be a total of 10 "up" services each weekday, and 11 "down" services. Trains will be 9 car consists, with the exception of three services in each direction having 14 cars. timetable: https://www.jreast.co.jp/ltd_exp/tokaido/pdf/pdf_202103timetable.pdf Ayokoi video of the 185 and 215 series on the liner services at Odawara:
  4. Once again, for forum members in Japan, Fuji TV's variety info program Real Scope Hyper will have a one hour special about trains "behind the scenes", this time the limited express trains of the private railways, including Odakyu. Fuji TV Saturday May 10, 7pm~
  5. Tobu Railway runs the weekend winter season-only "Snow Pal 25:55" all reserved seat limited express between Asakusa (dep. 23:55) and Aizukogen Ozeguchi Station (arr. 05:33) in Fukushima Pref. for the benefit of skiers. It's a one-way only (down) service. The return is an ecs move (回送). departing Asakusa: Arriving Kasukabe. This is one of three intermediate station stops, the others being Kita-Senju and Shin-Koshigaya. The return empty coaching stock move (somewhere in Tochigi?): Tobu website info regarding this train: http://www.tobu.co.jp/snowpal/ *interestingly, tickets/reservations can only be purchased through Tobu Travel Agency offices, by internet, or by phone. They cannot be purchased at regular train station ticket windows/TVMs.
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