Japan Railway & Transport Review No. 29 (pp.2 & 53–55)

Photostories
JR East's E926 Shinkansen Track and Electric Equipment Inspection Train

JR East's new Type E926 shinkansen inspection train is to replace the old inspection train (Type 925) that was known as ‘Dr Yellow’ due to its yellow livery. Based on the Series E3 shinkansen EMU, the new 6-car inspection train is nicknamed ‘East-i’, symbolizing intelligent and integrated inspection services. It can measure and record the conditions of track, power supply, signalling and telecommunications equipment while running at 275 km/h on normal shinkansen lines (electrified at 25 kV 50 Hz or 60 Hz) and at 130 km/h on the so-called mini-shinkansen, i.e. conventional lines converted from narrow to standard gauge (electrified at 20 kV 50 Hz).

Photo:E926 ‘East-i’ running a conventional section converted to standard gauge
(JR East)
Photo:Old Type 925 or ‘Dr Yellow’ inspection train to be replaced by E926
(JR East)
Photo:E926 standing at a JR East rolling stock depot
(JR East)
Photo:Futuristic cockpit of E926
(JR East)
Photo:Fully computerized measuring instruments on board
(JR East)
Photo:JR Central and JR West also recently introduced new Type 923T4 general inspection trains. Based on the Series 700 EMU, it still keeps the image of the old Dr Yellow while running at 270 km/h
(Transportation News)


JR's Narrow-gauge Limited Express Services around Tokyo
Today, shinkansen super-express trains dominate the JR’s long-distance express services to and from Tokyo. However, there are some notable narrow-gauge limited express services depending on your destination, and some examples are shown from this page to page 55.

Photo:First introduced in July 1999, the Tokyo–Sapporo (about 1200 km) Cassiopeia night express is very popular with its luxurious sleeping and dining accommodations (see also JRTR 20).
(JR East)
Photo:The Hokutosei (Ursa Major) night express also serves the Tokyo–Sapporo section through the Seikan Tunnel, using more conventional Series 24 sleeping cars (photo). Other loco-hauled night express services for north Honshu include Akebono (Dawn) for Aomori and Hokuriku (name of a region) for Kanazawa (both via Sea-of-Japan coast). Loco-hauled night express services to west Honshu and Kyushu include Asakaze (morning breeze) for Shimonoseki, Sakura (cherry blossom) for Nagasaki, Hayabusa (falcon) for Kumamoto and Fuji for Oita.
(JR East)
Photo:Some conventional loco-hauled night express services were replaced by Series 285 EMU sleeping-car trains developed by JR Central and JR West and nicknamed Sunrise Express (see also JRTR 18).
(JR Central)
Photo:JR Central's Series 373 EMU appears several times a day at Tokyo Station as Tokai (name of a region) express services for Shizuoka, and Moonlight Nagara (name of a river) night rapid service for Ogaki (photo).
(JR Central)
Photo:JR Central's Series 371 appears twice a day at Tokyo's Shinjuku terminal as Asagiri (morning mist) limited express services From Numazu via the private Odakyu Electric Railway that is connected to JR Central's Gotemba Line at Matsuda (photo).
(JR Central)

The Joban Line serving the northeast of Tokyo, Sobu, Sotobo and Uchibo lines serving the east and southeast of Tokyo are not covered by shinkansen and principal services are provided by narrow-gauge limited express trains.

Photo:JR East's Series E653 (top) is used for the Joban Line's Fresh Hitachi (name of a region and a city) business and tourist express services, alongside the more prestigious Series E651 (bottom) used for Super Hitachi business expresses.
(JR East)
Photo:The Boso Peninsula seaside resort region is widely served by JR East's Series 255 (top) with its unique head looking like a sperm whale. Many airline passengers take Narita Express services using JR East’s Series 253 EMU between the cities of Tokyo, Yokohama, Omiya, etc. and Narita Airport (bottom).
(JR East)
Photo:The Series 185 EMU (left) built in the early 1980s is still used for Odoriko (dancer, named after Nobel laureate Yasunari Kawabata’s novel) leisure express services from Tokyo to the Izu Peninsula in the southwest. The more luxurious Series 251 (right), with partially double-decker observation carriages at both ends, is used for Super Odoriko services.
(JR East)


JR East's Series E257 EMU for Chuo Line Limited Express Services
JR East’s Series E257 EMU was put into service on 1 December 2001 for Azusa (name of a river) limited express services between Tokyo (Shinjuku) and Matsumoto, 230 km west of Tokyo. Alongside the existing Series E351 EMU put into service in 1993, the Series E257 will soon completely replace the remaining Series 183 and Series 189 used for Azusa and Kaiji (name of a region) services. Unlike the Series E351, the Series E257 has no tilting mechanism, but it adopts a low-centre-of-gravity design with underfloor airconditioning equipment, enabling smooth running on sharp curves in mountain areas.

Photo:With no tilting mechanism, the Series E257 has a wide body built to the limit of the loading gauge, assuring spacious passenger saloon
(JR East)
Photo:Simply designed cockpit with good front and side views
(JR East)
Photo:Multi-purpose space in standard-class carriage
(JR East)
Photo:Series E257 running in the central highlands in Nagano Prefecture
(JR East)
Photo:The Series E351 with tilting mechanism is used for faster Super Azusa services
(JR East)
Photo:The old Series 183/189 built in the JNR days will be replaced completely by late 2002
(JR East)

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