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  1. Tetsudou Journal has a news item about JR East's refurbed E653s, renumber as 1100 subseries, to be used on the Shirayuki service that will run between Niigata and Arai on the Shin'etsu Main Line. It will begin in March 2015 with the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen. There will be four 4-car formations. Looks good. Tetsudou Journal and Wikipedia links, and YT video (uploaded by Rail Channel, formerly tobu2181), below. http://railf.jp/news/2014/10/28/173000.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E653_series http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shirayuki_%28train%29
  2. I often think about long-haul rides on conventional lines. In particular, Aomori to Kyoto and Kyoto to Shimonoseki on the lines on the Sea of Japan. I've done most but not all of the Kyoto-to-Shimonoseki half in separate runs, but none of the northeastern part. Have any of you? The parts of the San'in that I've traveled, I think were almost all worth doing by local train. What about the Tohoku/Hokuriku region? But it looks like a much longer distance, possibly double. I wonder if I'd be tempted to pay out for a limited express ticket
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