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Yavianice

Izu Craile will be retired in summer 2020, possibly scrapped.

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JR 500系

This is sad.. I thought I would at least have a chance to ride on the Izu Craile but I guess it's too late...

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EdF

I guess they expect the e261 to be running by then, which is all green or greater.

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katoftw

I am surprized at the short life of the service.

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Yavianice

If I were to make a guess not many people took it because of the steep green car only price when other cheaper trains are available.

Edited by Yavianice

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EdF

Enough people must have, they built a new all green train for the same route.

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miyakoji

These were built from 1988 to 1992, the first revenue runs being March 11, 1989.  A pretty good run.  If Japanese wikipedia is up to date, quite a few normal refurbed formations still exist in addition to this special one.

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Sacto1985

Most of the 651 Series train sets are still operational. I wouldn't be surprised that they are assigned to the Hitachi full route from Tokyo to Sendai via the Jōban Line when that re-opens in March 2020. And they could be assigned to Home Liner services throughout the Tokyo region, replacing most of the aging 185 Series train sets.

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Socimi
1 hour ago, Sacto1985 said:

Most of the 651 Series train sets are still operational. I wouldn't be surprised that they are assigned to the Hitachi full route from Tokyo to Sendai via the Jōban Line when that re-opens in March 2020. And they could be assigned to Home Liner services throughout the Tokyo region, replacing most of the aging 185 Series train sets.

 

To me, it seems very unlikely, as Hitachi services have been run exclusively with E657 Series trains since 2013, and the 185 Series is being replaced by refurbished E257s (themselves replaced by E353s).


As of today, the 651 Series is used only on Kusatsu and Akagi limited express services, replacing the 185 series. Both services run only on 1.5Kv DC lines, so, the dual-voltage capability of the 651 Series is not used. Out of 18, 11 sets are still in use: 2 0-subseries sets and 8 (+1 izu craile) 1000-subseries sets.

They were built between 1988 and 1992, so they all range between 32 and 28 years of age; in the JNR (or even 1990s JR East) era, this wasn't considered as "too old", and these trains would've been easily re-assigned to other services, but for the 2020s JR East, the only solution possible for these trains seems retirement (my guess is in 5 years' time).

(nothwitstanding the fact that these still use a resistor-control traction system, something that became obsolete by the mid-1970s!)

 

I think there could be a small chance of one or two sets being kept as spare trains (in case an E657 or other limited express set cannot enter service), prolonging their lifespan by 5 or so years.

There's also the possibility of these sets being resold to third-sector railways, as Nagaden bought some E253 Series trains (wich are conceptually very similar, as they were designed in the same era), and it's not easy to find second-hand dual-voltage stock, so a couple compaines, especially in the Tohoku region, might be interested (Abukuma Express, for instance).

Another important thing to consider is that the 651 Series is seemingly capable of also doing local services (i recall a 4-car 651 Series set was or is still in use on such services on an isolated section of the Joban line).

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miyakoji
9 hours ago, Socimi said:

Another important thing to consider is that the 651 Series is seemingly capable of also doing local services (i recall a 4-car 651 Series set was or is still in use on such services on an isolated section of the Joban line).

 

Interesting.  I've seen pictures of an E257 with 'local' on the destination board.  I think it may have been very early morning.  If passenger volume is very low it's probably fine, but if you try to move a significant number of passengers through few exterior doors plus vestibules, I think dwell times start to increase to the point that they're significant.

 

Fingers crossed for someone picking up a 185 formation.  Maybe Oigawa?

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chadbag

At the very least it should go to a museum

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RossDensha

It's possibly important to note that the E351 series, which entered service the same year as the 651, was fully taken out of service 2018 AND was scrapped with no sets preserved, while the 651 may still remain in service for a few more years. As Socimi said, it can run on local services, so still used on the Joban line (they're currently used between Iwaki and somewhere else? can't remember) 

 

With all this use even after withdrawal from the services they were meant for, I wonder why they didn't use the e351s for services like the Kusatsu? I like the E351 😞

Hope they keep these running because I love the early JR East limited express sets!

 

 

 

11 hours ago, Socimi said:

it's not easy to find second-hand dual-voltage stock, so a couple compaines, especially in the Tohoku region, might be interested

This makes me hopeful that they'll run for a little longer, just somewhere else!!

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Socimi
9 hours ago, RossDensha said:

It's possibly important to note that the E351 series, which entered service the same year as the 651, was fully taken out of service 2018 AND was scrapped with no sets preserved

 

Yes, but E351s were pendulum-tilting trains, wich means they were too expensive to be maintained for any third-sector railway.

 

12 hours ago, miyakoji said:

Fingers crossed for someone picking up a 185 formation.  Maybe Oigawa?

 

Toyama Chiho Railway might be interested too. They already use former Seibu 50000 Series and Keihan 3000 Series limited express trains.

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miyakoji
5 hours ago, Socimi said:

Toyama Chiho Railway might be interested too. They already use former Seibu 50000 Series and Keihan 3000 Series limited express trains.

 

Yeah if there was a buyer for the Seibu 5000 series... maybe there will be an interested party for the JNR 185.

 

Looking at Japanese Wikipedia I see there were 6 6-car sets, but built over quite a few years.  It looks like they started with 4 4-car sets in 1969/1970, built a 6-car formation and 2 additional cars for each of the older formations in 1974, and then one last 6-car set in 1978.  Somehow this seems like the opposite of economy of scale 🙂

 

Toyama got the first and fourth sets.  They were completed in September 1969 (two extra cars in March 1974) and March 1970 (two extra cars in May 1974) respectively.  However Toyama reduced them to 3 cars, each composed of 2 of the original cars and one of the additional cars.

 

Wow.

Edited by miyakoji

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