Jump to content

classification terminology


EF57

Recommended Posts

Leaving aside Shinkansen and Romance Cars, would the following typology be OK?  1. Limited Express. 2. Express. 3. Suburban. 4. Commuter. 5. Urban Transit.  6. (for want of a better name) Local, i.e. between villages in the countryside.

 

How can one distinguish a regular express from a suburban train?  Also suburban from commuter?   By formal characteristics please, e.g. 1-3 have two doors per side, 4-5 three or four?   And: 1-3 have toilets, 4-6 don‘t.   It would be nice to have a grid of distinctive features (I‘m a structuralist!).

 

Also: can a train switch categories, i.e. be downgraded?

 

Of course this is a great opportunity for the experts to point out all the various exceptions, but as a general rule what can be said?

 

Thanks in advance!

 

 

Link to post
Das Steinkopf

Rapid is a term that is used quite often to describe trains that make stops at busier stations along a route, it is pretty much akin to an express service.

Link to post
Quote

 

How can one distinguish a regular express from a suburban train?

 

 

 

Not sure what you mean with "regular express"; basically there are "special express" trains, which are 2+2/2+1 seating and have a special supplementary fare, and everything else...
 

Quote

 

Also suburban from commuter?

 

 

This distinction doesn't exist.

 

Anyway I think you'd need to distinguish between JR and non-JR for a start.

 

For JR (mainly thinking about JR East) as a very general set of rules:

- limited express - 2+2 or 2+1 seating, mostly reserved seats  between cities and popular destinations not served by Shinkansen (e.g. Azusa); extra fare payable

- "liners" - same stock as limited express, all-reserved seats aimed at commuters at rush hours (e.g. Chuo Liner)

- long-distance commuter (e.g. Shonan-Shinjuku line) with first-class accomodation and toilets, high service frequency, 3 or 4 doors per car, mix of bench and box seating ; 10~15 cars

- "normal" commuter with no toilets/first class accomodation (e.g. Chuo Line) and high service frequency, bench seating only; 4 ~ 10 cars

- local train, say 1 ~ 4 car EMU or DMU of varying types, low service frequency, usually with toilets

 

Also various excursion trains, sleepers etc.

 

For private lines:

- limited express - 2+2 (and possibly 2+1) seating, all reserved seats, positioned as commuter/tourist trains (e.g. Odakyu Romance Car); extra fare payable

- commuter trains of various types, usually 3/4 door, all bench seating, used interchangeably on different service patterns with a confusing variety of names

 

But TBH given the large number of railway operators, train types and service patterns it will be difficult to nail down a nice simple grid...

Edited by railsquid
Link to post
2 hours ago, EF57 said:

Also: can a train switch categories, i.e. be downgraded?

I think the rule here is that any train type could provide any service if needed, but certain factors (like having toilets on long distance routes) could limit this. You may view two classifications, one for train equipment characteristics (seating arrangements, toilet factilities, AC and DC capabilities, route compatibilities including train lengths and platform door patterns) and a completly different one for timetable assignements. There are certain equipment characteristics that are more common for certain types of services but these are not mandatory.

 

Imho a good example is mixing 4 double leaf doors per side and longitudinal seating and 2 single leaf door transverse seating cars in the same train that runs as a limited express on certain parts of the route and then switches to be an all stops local on the other part. Also the same set on different runs during a day may be assigned to different services. Examples of these mixed setups could be found on the Tokaido line.

Link to post

It depends on the railway.  I believe there are no hard and fast rules. 

 

Meitetsu for instance has ordinary and first class cars in the same train. See diagram at the bottom of the page. If the train is an express then it would be an ordinary express. I watched some Meitetsu videos yesterday and the first class cars were clearly empty while the ordinary cars had crush loads.

 

http://www.meitetsu.co.jp/eng/ticket-info/ticket.html

 

These different types of trains are more about stopping patterns than about the trains themselves. For instance,  in the Shinjuku Station, serviced by 12 lines operated by 5 companies, there are 15 services: Special Express, Semi Special Express, Rapid Express, Express, Tama Express (discontinued), Semi Express, Section Semi Express, Commuter Special Rapid, Chūō Special Rapid, Oume Special Rapid, Special Rapid, Commuter Rapid, Rapid, Liner and Local.

 

The Tobu Iseki line has no less than seven types of trains: Local, Section Semi-Express, Semi-Express, Section Express, Express, Rapid, Section Rapid, and Limited Express.

 

http://muza-chan.net/japan/index.php/blog/japanese-trains

 

Romancecar (one word) is a trademark not a train type.  Romancecar is a 1950s term referring to the lack of arm rests between the seats and the popularity of the Hakone region with Japanese newly weds. Riding on a Romancecar train requires a ticket and may require a supplementary ticket depending on whether you choose an observation seat or a saloon seat.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romancecar

https://www.odakyu.jp/english/sightseeing/feature/romancecar/

https://www.odakyu.jp/english/romancecar/lineup/#lineup01

 

There also is the Home Liner category of trains running into and out of Tokyo during rush hours.  These trains are all reserved seat trains requiring the purchase of a supplementary ticket along with a regular ticket.  Shonan Liner is an example.  Chuo Liner is another example JR East uses these movements to move rolling stock to and from depots for servicing. Different types of trains are used or have been:Series 183,  Series 185, Series 189, Series 251, Series 257 and Series 351.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_Liner

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shōnan_Liner

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chūō_Liner

 

There are trains that have stadium seating in the lead car.  An example is the Izukyu Resort 21.  This is a premium priced seat!

 

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Izukyu_2100_series#/media/File:Alpha-Resort-21Observation_Seat.jpg

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Izukyu_2100_series#/media/File:Resort-21Observation_Seat.jpg

 

These categories of trains are often more about supplementary fare surcharges which help in keeping some order and space in crowded Japan and maintaining seating options for passengers closer in on heavy traffic lines during peak times. On some lines, peak times may be all day.

 

 

 

Edited by bill937ca
  • Like 1
Link to post
10 hours ago, EF57 said:

How can one distinguish a regular express from a suburban train?  Also suburban from commuter?   By formal characteristics please, e.g. 1-3 have two doors per side, 4-5 three or four?   And: 1-3 have toilets, 4-6 don‘t.   It would be nice to have a grid of distinctive features (I‘m a structuralist!).

 

 

Japanese trains do not fall into hard and fast categories. What ya going to do when a train arrives with four door cars and two six door cattle cars?

 

Edited by bill937ca
Link to post
6 hours ago, bill937ca said:

 

Japanese trains do not fall into hard and fast categories. What ya going to do when a train arrives with four door cars and two six door cattle cars?

 

 

Take a photo for posterity, they're a vanishing species. Might be a couple left on the Chuo-Sobu and Tokyu lines...

Link to post
11 minutes ago, railsquid said:

 

Take a photo for posterity, they're a vanishing species. Might be a couple left on the Chuo-Sobu and Tokyu lines...

 

That would be the effect of platform gates.

Link to post

Indeed, and also that they haven't proved as effective as anticipated and have additional maintenance costs.

 

The general trend seems to be towards premium services, e.g. the green cars on the Chuo Line, Seibu's S-Train etc.

  • Like 1
Link to post

This is all very interesting.  But aren’t there some kind of limitations on the possible functions per type / numbered series?  

Does this mean that e.g. a series 115 can work as anything from express to commuter?  

What do they use the E 235 for other than commuter service?   

What are some types that are known to have had multiple uses?  

I suppose single-purpose cars are more typical of the smaller private lines, where there is just Express versus Local.

 

 I was just never happy with the classification on HS, but perhaps vagueness is the only reasonable way.

Link to post

After the responses you have been given.  I don't really understand what you really need.  You seem to be looking for some kind of answer that doesn't exist.

 

A series 115 in it's hay day did run from local services, rapids, expresses etc.

E235 is a new train set, and currently only used of the Yamanote Line in Tokyo.  One type of service.

E231/E233 for example has bee used on multiple lines and services, locals, rapids expresses.

single purpose cars are not more typical of small private lines.

Link to post
4 hours ago, EF57 said:

Does this mean that e.g. a series 115 can work as anything from express to commuter?  

Yes! Even during a single day or changing service type during different legs of a single trip. This is pretty common for most railroads around the world that have more than one service type. Even back in the days of the JNR Series 0 shinkansens, the single shinkansen type in existence was used for all service types.

 

Some railroads may decide to use a certain train type for a certain route and some specialist services are run with the same types in normal operation, mostly for marketing and branding reasons. (see: painted trains and line colors) If there is a rolling stock shortage, then even Tokyu may decide to run a romancecar (a resort limited express, aka. tourist train) service with a standard commuter train. The other good example was when the Narita airport express (NEX) service was run with 113 series emu that happened to be on hand (probably as a spare for the all stops local commuter service on the same line). Some NEX sets were also used as tourist trains during low demand periods on other lines.

 

The only limit seems to be route availability, which means the abilities of each type to traverse a certain route. This includes loading gauge, train length, power supplies, signalling systems and nowdays platform doors. A train that could run a service physically could be used for that service. Some trains are better for certain roles and most sane companies try to optimize to provide the best overall service with the available rolling stock.

Link to post
5 hours ago, EF57 said:

This is all very interesting.  But aren’t there some kind of limitations on the possible functions per type / numbered series?  

Does this mean that e.g. a series 115 can work as anything from express to commuter?  

 

Some trains are explicitly designed to do more than one function.  I clear example is the Tobu 50090 series.  During the day it runs as a ordinary train with bench seating. during the evening rush, seats are automatically turned to a forward facing configuration for premium priced  reserved seat TJ Liner limited express service.

 

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tobu_50090_20111102.jpg

 

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tobu-50090.seat2×3.JPG

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tobu_50000_series

 

https://tokyorailwaylabyrinth.blogspot.ca/2015/04/tj-liner-relaxing-train-on-tobu-tojo.html

Link to post

It is true though, that many train types are oriented towards a specific type of service.  

 

Longitudinal seating (parallel to the train) tend to be local, while transverse seating (perpendicular to the train), tend to be rapid types.  In Osaka, I've seen a 321 as a rapid, and a 223/225 type running as a local.  But those are the exceptions, like when there is a problem with rolling stock availability or there technical issue, or similar .  Typically the 321 runs the locals and the 221/223/225 run the rapid (various expresses of the rapid sort).  Sometimes they run as a rapid until they get to the far suburbs, when they convert into a local-style train, stopping at every stop.

 

 

Link to post

Generally Japan is day and night to Western practices. What we take for granted they often do completely different and may have for hundreds of years.

Link to post
4 hours ago, bill937ca said:

Generally Japan is day and night to Western practices. What we take for granted they often do completely different and may have for hundreds of years.

True! Railroad wise the practices are more familiar for me. The old prewar standards came from England and Prussia, then the then current US practice was added between the two world wars and then swiss knowledge after ww2, including signalling, bogie and traction technology. Everybody could find something familiar, but the rest would be new unless one knows a bit about every practice. The operating procedures, like pointing and calling out signals and operating steps are imho a really japanese thing. (When i'm tired at a train show, i usually start using this as it dramatically decreases errors.)

 

Japan has so many different trains and train companies that it's almost possible to find a prototype for everything.

  • Like 1
Link to post

Do know there are Odakyu RomanceCars that run regular commuter trips through the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line Line and continuing on along the Odakyu main line? These MSE 60000 trains also do regular RomanceCar runs.

 

 

Video by SeikyuLine.

 

 

MSE 60000 also operate express runs like the Fuji San to Gotemba on the JR Central.

 

 

Edited by bill937ca
Link to post

Yes, but they're still special express trains with additional fare payable, you won't see them doing the job of ordinary commuter stock (or  vice-versa).

Link to post

Another part is when trains become older they often are downgraded to rural areas or slower services, for example the 583 sleeper expresses were downgraded with some modifications to local commuter trains in kyushu, or the Kiha 66/67 sets which were some of the most expensive DMUs JNR produced are now running local trains on the Omura line rather than the fast distance trains they were built for.  Often when switching the services the interiors are somewhat modified, but rarely are they completely changed.  You might find this useful, JNR's way of classifying cars.

http://sunny-life.net/train_symbol/trainsymbol.htm#Symbols of the Japanese Trains

Link to post
On 04/04/2018 at 8:51 AM, railsquid said:

 

Take a photo for posterity, they're a vanishing species. Might be a couple left on the Chuo-Sobu and Tokyu lines...

 

IIRC all 6-door cars at Tokyu (Den'entoshi line 5000 series) have been replaced with rather comfortable new cars that have headrests.

  • Like 1
Link to post

\

5 hours ago, Kabutoni said:

 

IIRC all 6-door cars at Tokyu (Den'entoshi line 5000 series) have been replaced with rather comfortable new cars that have headrests.

 

It's been a while since I've travelled in that general direction (used to commute on the Hanzomon for a short distance) and my memory is stuck about 4 years in the past. Still, a good excuse to take the Squidlet along for a look, he is conceptually aware of the Hanzomon line (purple!) but I don't think he knows what a Tokyu or Tobu is.

  • Like 1
Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...