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miyakoji

JR Central: more EMUs and DMUs, electrification of Taketoyo Line

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miyakoji

Not really news anymore, but on Ompuchaneru I just noticed this pdf (dated March 27th) from JR Central: http://jr-central.co.jp/news/release/_pdf/000021810.pdf

 

In the zairai line section, there's news about more 313 series EMUs and KIHA25 series DMUs, which look exactly like 313s.  Electrification of the Taketoyo Line should be complete in spring of next year, and service will be operated by EMUs starting in June according to English Wikipedia.  28 new 313s will be built this year in preparation for this.

 

On the DMU side of things, only 5 2-car sets of KIHA25s have been built, but they're getting 52 more, 16 this year and the remaining 36 next year.  These will replace KIHA40s, of which JRC has 59, according to both English and Japanese Wikipedias.  So, either 7 KIHA40s are safe or they're reducing numbers a bit.  KIHA11s are post-privatization (1988), so if what I read is correct, they're safe.

 

I've read that over the long term, electrics are cheaper to operate than diesels.  Assuming that's true, I often wonder why there isn't more electrification when significantly large fleets of DMUs are ready for retirement.  If electricity is more expensive in the last 3 years, surely that isn't expected to be permanent, and you can't depend on the cost of diesel fuel anyway.

Edited by miyakoji

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Densha

Considering Japan (and lately not only Japan actually) also is in favour of 'cleaner' energy sources, that may be a factor as well.

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Sacto1985

Most of those KiHa 40's have been pretty hard-worked and may be approaching the time they need to be retired. I wouldn't be surprised if there is a major purge of KiHa 40's all  over Japan over the next 10-15 years.

 

It will be very interesting to see what JR West does with its large and aging KiHa 40 fleet. They could buy more KiHa 120's or maybe a lengthened derivative of the KiHa 120 that will replace them all. Too bad JR West couldn't get access to the JR East DMU designs; something like a KiHa 110 would be well-suited for San'in Main Line service in the Chūgoku region.

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miyakoji

Considering Japan (and lately not only Japan actually) also is in favour of 'cleaner' energy sources, that may be a factor as well.

 

I think they're electrifying the Taketoyo Line because communities along it are expanding, becoming commuter towns for Nagoya.  I agree that Japan is generally more environmentally-minded, which makes me wonder even more why there isn't more electrification.  I guess it's just a matter of money.

 

Most of those KiHa 40's have been pretty hard-worked and may be approaching the time they need to be retired. I wouldn't be surprised if there is a major purge of KiHa 40's all  over Japan over the next 10-15 years.

 

It will be very interesting to see what JR West does with its large and aging KiHa 40 fleet. They could buy more KiHa 120's or maybe a lengthened derivative of the KiHa 120 that will replace them all. Too bad JR West couldn't get access to the JR East DMU designs; something like a KiHa 110 would be well-suited for San'in Main Line service in the Chūgoku region.

 

Yeah, English Wikipedia says JR West got 257 KIHA40s when JNR was split up.  As of 2010, 255 were still in use.  That's a lot.  As for a longer variant of the KIHA120, they already have the KIHA127 which has a higher passenger capacity, and the KIHA126 which has a higher capacity still.  In addition, both look like proper trains as opposed to 120's somewhat railbus-like appearance :grin

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kvp

 

I've read that over the long term, electrics are cheaper to operate than diesels. Assuming that's true, I often wonder why there isn't more electrification when significantly large fleets of DMUs are ready for retirement. 

The cost of electrification has to worth it. Some lines have so low passenger numbers or low number of trains that it isn't worth it. They calculate the cost of electrification, the cost of new emus and the cost of electric operation, then the cost of diesel operation, cost of the current or new fleet and the cost of diesel operation. You can calculate this for current and expected passenger numbers and current and expected power source prices. Whichever is lower will be selected.

 

The only thing that can change the field is hybrid trains. With a diesel electric drive, adding pantographs is cheap and the trains can operate from ovearhead in electrified areas and from batteries on the more rural routes, with diesel providing the backup power. On really rural lines, the recharging can be done at the end of the lines too, so the trains can operate on batteries the whole time. If this technology ever takes hold depends on the price or diesel, electricity and if these lines have enough daily passengers to worth any investment. When the current kiha40-s get too old, they could be replaced by a bus service for the same price or less and the roads are maintained by the government, not the railroad companies, so operating them is cheaper.

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