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bikkuri bahn

Well, got some pics of the last run of this overnight train.  Already an hour before the train was to depart, a scrum of fans and TV camera crews were at the end of platform 4 at Sapporo Station.  Wanting to avoid the tyro carnival, I caught a local train and got off at one of my favorite photo spots in the Sapporo area, Kami Nopporo Station.  I estimate about 25~30 railfans and a smattering of general public with cameras were there.  Helpfully there were periodic annoucements for railway staff (gyoumu renraku) informing the location of the train- it departed Sapporo one minute late and also passed Shiroishi Station one minute behind schedule. Somewhat thankfully it clouded up a bit before it passed through Kami Nopporo, lessening the harsh shadows as it was late afternoon with somewhat oblique side sunlight.

 

Two DD51 lead:

post-133-0-52277000-1440234980_thumb.jpg

 

Rear of train.  Please excuse the balding bobble head on the right, it was out of my control:

post-133-0-26079600-1440234991_thumb.jpg

 

As a bonus, several minutes later, a container freight passed through, led by rather smoky DF200-104:

post-133-0-96741900-1440235151_thumb.jpg

Edited by bikkuri bahn
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gmat

I thought it would arrive at Ueno this morning, but the information I read appeared to be wrong. Will wake up early tomorrow and try to catch it either before or after Utsunomiya. There is something about a last train that trumps the same train on an ordinary run. But you end up in a bad spot with a crappy shot, until you turn it into a record of the crowd of rail fans. This morning, when I thought I was waiting for the Hokutosei, I ended up at Uguisudani Station, one up from Ueno and shooting the Cassiopeia instead. Too many fans, too many poles and wires and too many trains between you and a good shot. I've previously shot both trains from Uguisudani Staton  when they were leaving Ueno, some from the station platform and some thru the fence of the bridge after the station. My most interesting photos were thru the fence during a rain shower. 

 

Grant

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ote-m

Managed to grab this photo. Ran it through a filter, I kinda like it more this way! I wish I could have avoided the fence...

 

auBuokb.jpg

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westfalen

Great shot.  The looks on the crew say it all, I bet the one on the left is thinking "What am I going to do tomorrow?"

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Azumanga Davo

Damn onions in this thread

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Fasubkhanali (Ali)

So, what is the reason the train hokutosei then dismissed and what make that train so interesting?

Edited by Fasubkhanali (Ali)

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kvp

So, what is the reason the train hokutosei then dismissed and what make that train so interesting?

Being one of the last blue trains, its termination marks the end of classic locomotive hauled sleeper service in Japan. Today only two sleeper emu-s remain in service to areas not reachable through the shinkansen network and even those will be discontinued in the near future, leaving most travellers the options to use shinkansens where possible and fly or take a highway bus for the rest of Japan. Today it seems to be a challenge to take the Tokyo-Osaka route on non shinkansen trains, which is a problem if your start or end point is not a major city.

 

ps: The same sleeper train network still exists in Europe and they even have seating only cars. In many countries they are the last direct car international trains. Considering most of the cars are between 30 to 50 years old and no replacement is planned, soon the only way to travel in Europe could be the same as in Japan.

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Densha

Where did you read that the Sunrise Seto and Sunrise Izumo are going to be discontinued? There is no Shinkansen line planned to either Takamatsu or Izumo and the 285 series has been in service for only 17 years now.

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kvp

They are modern emu-s, so after 20-25 years of service they have to be either rebuilt or replaced. JREast would probably scrap them, but we can hope that JRWest and Central will repair them instead. I don't think there are plans to build new, more modern sets instead. Also with the current trend of cutting regular sleeper trains and building more cruise trains, i don't see much space for overnight trains. Two reasons the two services are still running are the lack of shinkansen coverage and the relatively new and good shape of the current fleet of 5 sets.

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miyakoji

And the formation is off to Nagano for scrapping. They didn't waste any time on that.

 

http://railf.jp/news/2015/09/03/130000.html

From Nagano end, formation is:

OHANEFU 25 215
ORONE 25 505
OHANEFU 25 214
OROHANE 24 553
OROHANE 24 552
ORONE 24 501
OROHANE 24 501
KANI 24 506
KANI 24 508
 

 

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katoftw

They have got so many blue cars tucked away for Akebono and Nihonkai services also.  There isn't really a need to hang onto many more.  Surprized to see a generator car in there though.

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kvp

Afaik two generator cars, so from both the up and down sets. The cars seem to be the ones that are harder to modify into cruise trains.

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ote-m

They have got so many blue cars tucked away for Akebono and Nihonkai services also.  There isn't really a need to hang onto many more.  Surprized to see a generator car in there though.

 

So you're telling me there's a chance for a Rinji blue train service at some point in the future?

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bikkuri bahn

Some may be kept for any future special trains (the ones still in good condition), some will eventually be donated to some SE Asian country, and the rest scrapped or sold off, especially if there is no space to store them or bookkeeping demands it.

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Sacto1985

In my opinion, I'm not surprised these Hokutosei cars are headed for the scrapyard at Nagano. Mostly because they were in constant use until very recently, and as such they may be mechanically worn out and too expensive to refurbish for use again in busy periods like Golden Week, the Bon festival in August and over the New Years holiday period.

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SuRoNeFu 25-501

It is not surprising why JR decided to scrap almost all of their remaining Blue Train coaches, as they were constructed during the late Showa 40s to early Showa 50s period. Also, refurbishing them for extending their service life would be way much more expensive than purchasing high-technology conventional multiple units or Shinkansen EMU (strictly speaking, development of EMU in Japan is now much more advanced than conventional loco-hauled fleets)

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