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485 Series Variation Question


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One of the configurations for the Hitachi/Hibari in my Kato 485-300 Series instruction manual calls for the earlier bonnet-type クハ car at one end, which I do have.  What exactly led to this asymmetrical choice of cab cars?

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The Japanese page says that under the hood there was a motor generator and an air compressor.  From 1972, the non-bonnet design was just about the same as the 183 series which appeared around that time.  It allowed for 8 more passenger seats.  There's a lot of text and I'm missing specifics about the exact reasons for the design change, but I see something about the model of motor generator being changed, and it being moved under the floor.  It says this about the KURO/KUHA 481-100 type, which was still a bonnet design.  Maybe Bikkuri or 200kei will know.

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The original formation was the 485-100 series (bonnet type both ends), but sometime in the latter half of the 1970s, the formation was broken up, with the one end with the kuro 481 driving car being transferred and/or converted into a kuha type for use on Kyushu limited express services (Kamome/Midori). The replacement for the driving car on the reconstituted Hibari formation was a kuha of the later turret type, hence the mixed formation.

Edited by bikkuri bahn
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Okay, yeah, the English Wikipedia article on the 485 doesn’t touch on mixed cabs on certain trains.  Though prototypical, the mismatch just came across as a bit odd to me.  Since I like both cab styles, it’s convenient to feature them on one train.

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