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HHhmmm... it looks really squarish, with a really weird angled front... Not really liking this. The previous Kiha-283 used for the Super Oozara or Super Hokuto was much better...

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Claude_Dreyfus

Interesting video...especially the 'chase' sequences. One question, I know the unit had the two end-boards, but should there also be a tail light? Certainly that train could not have run that way in the UK, particularly at night, without the red flashing light at the rear.

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Alas, this appears to be a one-off trainset, and will likely never run in passenger revenue service (there is talk it could be converted to a rail line inspection train). JR Hokkaido decided to standardize on KiHa 261 trainsets for many limited express services in Hokkaido, with the KiHa 281 and 283 DMU's assigned to the fastest services.

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Alas, this appears to be a one-off trainset, and will likely never run in passenger revenue service (there is talk it could be converted to a rail line inspection train). JR Hokkaido decided to standardize on KiHa 261 trainsets for many limited express services in Hokkaido, with the KiHa 281 and 283 DMU's assigned to the fastest services.

I knew this number was familiar, but it totally slipped my mind. Prophet of the Way posted about this on the jtrains mailing list a few weeks ago. This train had a regular model number, so it seemed like a sample/demonstrator for a regular production run. Too bad, seems like it has some cool technological developments. In his email to the list, he wrote that this functionality would probably disabled or removed for its future as a maintenance of way train :(.

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So even before the prototype is actually tested, JR Hokkaido decided to discontinue the development of the whole series? Strange and wasting of money.

 

I think I read somewhere last week that they stopped development because JR Hokkaido is short on money with the JR Hokkaido Shinkansen project going on. The KiHa 285 series was supposed to replace the KiHa 183 series, but I guess they will keep the 183's for now.

Edited by Densha
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Densha, I think given that JR Hokkaido will get more KiHa 261 trainsets starting next year, they decided to standardize on the KiHa 261 on most longer-distance trains in Hokkaido, which will allow them to finally phase out the aging KiHa 183's.

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Reading between the lines of the Kiha 285 Wikipedia article, I think given JR Hokkaido's recent track maintenance woes they've decided to focus more on track upkeep and safety, rather than on faster trains and reducing journey times. Each new trainset no doubt requires a certain amount of specialist knowledge and training to look after, and I suspect JR Hokkaido is keen to instead put this energy into ensuring the tracks stay the right width apart ;-)

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Running tests earlier this month of the prototype set within the confines of the Naebo Works.  Note no diesel engine noise, as it's running using the hybrid motor assist, which has a traction motor powering the axles via a transmission shared with the diesel power pack.  Too bad this is a one-off model.  So much potential wasted by JR Hokkaido blunders.

 

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There's no diesel-electric train made in series in Japan?

The DF200 locomotive is diesel-electric, and JR East's upcoming luxury cruise train will be too, with the option of turning off the diesel when it's under wire. But other than that, I don't think so.

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As reported by Prophet of the Way on the jtrains mailing list, and as already updated on English Wikipedia, the lone 3-car KIHA 285 formation will probably be scrapped.  Apparently even the plan to make it a track inspection train has been canceled.

 

So, in its present condition it would still require a lot more money to be fit for passenger service?  If it's got seats in it, I would think they could operate it on some kind of revenue service for just a few years, while it's almost guaranteed not to need expensive maintenance or repair.  Or sell it for a fraction of cost and let someone else get a few years out of it.  Scrapping seems like a complete waste.  (yes Bikkuri I know it tilts :grin)

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KiHa_285_series

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bikkuri bahn

JR Hokkaido has so many problems, I don't think they want to bother dealing with an oddball set, even for a couple of years.  Diesel units have so many more moving parts, and the ones here in Hokkaido are used intensively (also you have the half year winters), the wear and tear is considerable compared to other parts of the country.

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There wasn't really a need for these 285s once the Hokkaido Shinkansen opened up, yes?  Reducing the amount of 283s and 789s JR Hokkaido needed since they aren't running between Shin-Aomori and Hakodate anymore?

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Actually it looks like the compound pendular + air suspension system was way too complex to worth maintaining and the hydraulic-electric-mechanical transmission was not as efficient as an electric transmission. The unit probably broke down too much to worth keeping in running condition especially that most non suburban and non trunk lines are scheduled to be closed once deferred maintenance makes them unusable. Mainlines don't need so much tilting and suburban lines are mostly electrified.

 

On the other hand a train with a full pneumatic tilting system and a diesel generator battery electric propulsion system based on an electric commuter frame might be viable. Add in the option for overhead power and that could be a viable new design.

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