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JR West DEC700


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From Railwaye Gazette:

 

This month JR West is to begin dynamic testing of its prototype Kawasaki Heavy Industries DEC700 diesel railcar, which is designed for future conversion to battery-diesel hybrid operation.

 

The DEC700 is being considered as a possible replacement for the ageing KiHa40 railcars from the JNR era which are still in service on a number of non-electrified lines in Yamaguchi Prefecture.

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Sacto1985

I expect the DEC 700 to eventually replace all the lines that use the KiHa 40/47/48 in JR West territory. We might even see it on the San'in Main Line between Kinosaki Onsen and Tottori and between Yonago and Shin-Shimonoseki.

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disturbman

Isn't that JR West plan?

 

edit: Yes, directly from the article: "The DEC700 is being considered as a possible replacement for the ageing KiHa40 railcars from the JNR era."

And I think I read as much on the Japanese web.

Edited by disturbman
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miyakoji

I predict JR West KIHA40 series still going strong in 2025, possibly even... 2028.

 

#teamKIHA40

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Sacto1985
On 8/14/2021 at 9:28 AM, miyakoji said:

I predict JR West KIHA40 series still going strong in 2025, possibly even... 2028.

 

#teamKIHA40

 

Probably not, if JR West has its way. The KiHa 40's are getting WAY up there in years and need to be replaced fairly soon. I wonder why JR West didn't just replace all the KiHa 40/47/48 models with a huge order of KiHa 120's when they had the chance in the 1990's.

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Sad to see them going, I wonder what will be the last JNR unit in regular service at this rate.  Seems like the end is near for the final JNR stock.

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disturbman
8 hours ago, Sacto1985 said:

I wonder why JR West didn't just replace all the KiHa 40/47/48 models with a huge order of KiHa 120's when they had the chance in the 1990's.


To preserve cash flow? And perhaps the 40s still had a few years left as demonstrated by the fact they are still in use in the early 2020s. I can't say I mind, I never liked the look of the KiHa 120 😉 

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10 hours ago, Sacto1985 said:

 

Probably not, if JR West has its way. The KiHa 40's are getting WAY up there in years and need to be replaced fairly soon. I wonder why JR West didn't just replace all the KiHa 40/47/48 models with a huge order of KiHa 120's when they had the chance in the 1990's.

 

Mostly because KiHa 120s (and by extension, all of Niigata's NDC family) are too light, almost fragile, compared to other "mainline" rolling stock. Furthemore, while it's true they can be coupled in multiple units, KiHa 120s have still a low capacity. In short, they aren't exactly designed for long-distance rapid services or high-patronage local trains, therefore JR West still needed (and partially does today) lots of the robust and reliable JNR-era DMUs, reason why they did refurbish a good deal of them in relatively recent times.

 

Also, due to their nearly non-existent crashworthiness, KiHa 120s are effectively banned from running on mainlines shared with heavier trains (such as freight services) and are strictly forbidden by JR West itself to run in it's own "Urban Network" area - the ensemble of commuter, suburban and regional lines radiating from Osaka and the Keihanshin region.

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