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Replacement for 381 series 'Yakumo' coming closer


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On Japanese television there have been reports of test runs that will take place in search of a replacement for the 381 series on the Yakumo limited express service. The television program shows a JR Shikoku 8600 series, although according to one of the comments on the Facebook post there have been test runs with this train type on JR West territory already last month.

 

Source: https://www.facebook.com/groups/lovekokutetsutype/permalink/1482471928487919/ (JNR fan page on Facebook)

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This is sad,.. The 8600 series could be in the "ugly trains" thread.
I hope they'll design at least a nice new livery...

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Bad enough being slated for replacement, to then even consider being replaced by the 8600 series is adding insult to injury... :protest:

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Okay, 381 series goes on my "to ride" list for this winter, before it's too late. 

That 8600 series has a certain UK-vibe to it. I don't know, but it's certainly not a good thing in this case.

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I don't think we should expect JR West to order trains exactly similar to the (ugly) JR Shikoku 8600 series. I'm confident that if they take the 8600 series as a base they will at least change the front design. JR Shikoku did so as well with their 2600 series, which is also based off the 8600 series.

 

It might be worth mentioning that the 8600 series doesn't have a pendulum mechanism, whilst the 381 series does. I think JR West is now mainly looking into different train designs to see how they perform on the Yakumo route. Who knows, maybe they'll decide that the 8600 series doesn't cut it and go with a completely different train altogether.

 

Still, it's sad to see yet another JNR train bite the dust.

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The 8600 may not be a beauty, but it wasn't until I saw the 2600 DMU, which I think is pretty nice, that I really thought about it. I wouldn't mind seeing an EMU based on the 2600.

 

Regardless, I'm considering this to be very early preparation for a replacement, JRW definitely hasn't squeezed enough life out of the refurbished 381s. :)

 

I wonder what JR Central will get when the 383s need to be replaced...

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Well, JR West had to do something soon because the 381's are getting WAY up there in years and spare parts for the 381's are getting harder to come by. 

 

If it's based in the JR Shikoku 8600 Series, it will likely have a totally different, more attractive nose design. 

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There may be the option to use also the Shikoku 8000 series  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JR_Shikoku_8000_series) or the JR West 283 series (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/283_series)

 

Both are tilting and both (especially the 283 series) are better-looking than the 8600 series .

 

Still there is the more plausible 287 series that has already replaced most of the 381s (it's tilting too).

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/287_series

Edited by Socimi
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Japanese Wikipedia says that Goto Depot has 68 381 series cars, of which 57 are refurbed Yuttari Yakumo cars.  The rest are cars transferred from Hineno and Fukuchiyama.  I expect them to get new cars for the Yakumo service, either another production run of 287s or a new type.  Although I guess they could cascade something else as they did to replace the last of the 381s in Kansai, but that will require a sufficient surplus from somewhere else.

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I think With the transfer of the ex-Kuroshio service 381's, JR West could keep the 381 fleet going for another seven years max. Because the JR Shikoku 8600 Series was just in production very recently, JR West could order a new train based on the JR Shikoku 8600 Series but with the nose of the JR Shikoku 2600 Series. The 287 Series also makes sense, since that model is still being manufactured. A 287 Series painted in the current Yakumo colors would actually look very good, though I do think they do need to make a number of "wide view cab" end cars, though.

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I think the 'wide view' cars were usually referred to as panorama cars in the context of the 381 series.  Regardless, I'll be surprised if the 381's replacement, when it arrives, has such a feature.  Remember, the 287 series was purpose built to replace 183 and 381 series.  They could have designed some successor to the 381 series panorama green car, but they didn't.  Likewise, some 485 series formations on Raicho service had panorama cars, but their replacements, the 681 and 683 series, do not.

 

Anyway, does JR West really want something based on the JR Shikoku 8600?  And I mean mechanically, not necessarily aesthetically.  I just expect them to have their own design to meet their own needs, they're not one of the island companies that can't afford it.  Maybe it really is a good design that they feel they cannot improve upon, at least relative to the time/money they want to spend on it.

 

If JRW really can wait as long as 6 or 7 years, the rest of the Hokuriku Shinkansen should be complete, freeing up more 681 and 683 series for reassignment.  I was surprised to read that 82 cars have been converted to 289 series.

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If JRW really can wait as long as 6 or 7 years, the rest of the Hokuriku Shinkansen should be complete, freeing up more 681 and 683 series for reassignment.  I was surprised to read that 82 cars have been converted to 289 series.

 

I forget that JR West plans to open the Hokuriku Shinkansen all the way to Tsuruga in 2022. In that case, that could allow more 681/683 Series trainsets to be converted to 289 configuration for use on the Yakumo route. But since JR West does want a tilting train (since the Hakubi Line from Kurashiki to Hoki-Daisen has a lot of sharp curves), it's either going to be buying new production run of 287's or buy a new train based on the JR Shikoku 8600 Series design.

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No no no, the 8600 is not a tilting train. Even though JR Shikoku is currently using mainly 2000 series and 8000 series tilting trains for their limited express services, they decided to go the non-tilting route for the new 2600 and 8600 series. This is probably because non-tilting trains are simply cheaper to maintain. Just like how JR East is replacing their tilting E351 series with non-tilting E353s on the Super Azusa.

 

Anyway, I think it is very reasonable to expect JR West to cascade some high-cab limited express EMUs from Thunderbird and Shirasagi services to the Yakumo when the Hokuriku Shinkansen will be extended to Tsuruga. If JR West can keep their 381s running until 2022 that is.

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No no no, the 8600 is not a tilting train. Even though JR Shikoku is currently using mainly 2000 series and 8000 series tilting trains for their limited express services, they decided to go the non-tilting route for the new 2600 and 8600 series. This is probably because non-tilting trains are simply cheaper to maintain. Just like how JR East is replacing their tilting E351 series with non-tilting E353s on the Super Azusa.

?

Both 8600 series and E353 ARE in fact tilting EMUs. They just don't use the pendulum system as used in the E351 and 381 series.

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Are you kidding me?! Blame me for not researching properly, but I really was under the assumption that they had no tilting equipment aboard at all. :/

 

Wonder what made me think they were non-tilting trains... Is the technology the 2600/8600 and E353 use less effective than than the pendulum system perhaps? I have little knowledge about these tilting systems so blame my ignorance.

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Is the technology the 2600/8600 and E353 use less effective than than the pendulum system perhaps? 

They are very effective and a lot smoother. The E353's system is highly computerized and the train even knows its current location on the line, so it can start leaning before it even enters the curve. I think Japan Railway Journal had an dedicated episode about the E353.

Edited by Suica
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How much longer will the 381 series be around?  Hopefully they still have a few more years yet, as I'd love to get to ride one sometime.  Are any still in JNR paint schemes? 

Edited by Kiha66
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How much longer will the 381 series be around?  Hopefully they still have a few more years yet, as I'd love to get to ride one sometime.  Are any still in JNR paint schemes? 

 

Maybe some of the cars transferred from Fukuchiyama to Goto have the JNR limited express livery.  I'm not sure if they're in regular Yakumo service, or if they will be in the future, etc.

 

Densha, I had a reply to Sacto's last post all written, but then I went to the wikipedia pages for the 8600 and E353 and noticed that they tilt, which did not support the overall point I was trying to make, which was that the 381 successor probably won't be a tilting train.  With the 8600 test runs, JR West has tested a modern tilting system.  I'm interested to see if in the coming weeks they test a 287 or 289 for comparison.  Maybe they're trying to decide if they want to go to commit to a tilting model, or if they can just go with the latest refinement of their non-tiliting design.

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I believe the 287's are still in production at a low rate. Like the E353, the 287's use an air suspension system to "tilt" the train into curves. As such, JR West buying a new batch of 287's to replace the aging 381's makes a lot of sense. I'd love to see whatever replaces the 381's painted into this color livery seen on the Yakumo 381's in the past:

 

640px-JRW-381-yakumo-color.jpg

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Maybe they're trying to decide if they want to go to commit to a tilting model, or if they can just go with the latest refinement of their non-tiliting design.

I don't really get how you got to that conclusion. Now that we found out that the 8600 series is actually a tilting train, what non-tilting train have they actually been testing out in comparison now? It's not like they haven't been running tilting trains along the Yakumo route for decades already either, so that's also not it.

 

I personally think either building some more 287s (for the sake of unifying the fleet) or waiting for 681/683s to be cascaded down from the Hokuriku Main Line are the most realistic options available now.

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I'm saying *if* they test a 287 for example, it could be to compare tilting and non-tilting. They run 115s yes, but nothing as new as the 287 and its weight, braking, suspension, etc.

Edited by miyakoji
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Just some tilting info:

The classic JNR solution was the pendulum mechanical system using a tilting bogie crossplate. The newer system uses the air suspension both to auto level the train while stationery and to tilt it by in curves according to the preprogrammed line diagram or sensor data in the lead car. The air suspension is smoother, but on some models have a more limited range of tilt. With the right design it could even allow a higher speed on the same route than the pendulum system.

 

I'm sad to see these JNR era trains to be replaced but i do understand that cheaper maintenance and a smoother ride are two good reasons for doing so. A failed tilting bogie could pretty much disrupt all services on a line and the pendum tilt could not be bypassed with a simple manual valve.

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A few days ago I finally got to ride the 381 series Yakumo.

DTYikTIV4AEWQ3E.thumb.jpg.c177fbf8d14be401e5903ecb0f4dda67.jpgDTYimLoVAAAG3UA.thumb.jpg.110df1596bcb6c97f4b5d52c2f5581aa.jpgDTYwtNdVMAEUjT1.thumb.jpg.891472506dccabcd24f72fccbf5259bf.jpg

A wonderful train. I went the whole line until Izumoshi and saw a total of five or six 381 series sets on the way. All very different formations between 4 and 9 cars long, however mine was the only one with a KuRo 380 panoramic car. How many of those do even exist? Wiki doesn't really help me there.

Edited by Suica
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That was my view when I rode the 383 except going backwards. Is this the train that Kato will be releasing soon? 

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