Japan Railway & Transport Review No. 51 (photostories)


History of Series 0 Shinkansen Trains

Series 0 shinkansen trains were in service from 1964 to November 2008. During their operation, several sub-series were made, and there were numerous modifications. Here is a brief history of Series 0.

1962   Shinkansen test track completed.
  June:Trials start on Kamonomiya test track for prototype A and B train sets.
1964 February:Six-car Series 0 advanced prototype delivered to Kamonomiya test track for trials.
Delivery of Series 0 trains to depots (360 cars of first and second version).
  1 October:Start of shinkansen operations between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka.

Commercial operations start. Hikari and Kodama train sets have two first-class cars (Class 15 and 16) and two buffet cars (Class 35).

1966   Kodama train sets switched to one first-class car.

Toilet waste processing switched from storage to circulating from car version 8

1969 1 May: First-class cars become Green cars and second- class cars become ordinary class.
    Hikari extended to 16 cars for Osaka Expo. Shop car (Class 25-400) added to Kodama train sets.
1971   New 12-car train sets constructed with prototype ventilation devices to accommodate pressure changes when passing through long tunnels.
1972 15 March: Shinkansen operation extended to Okayama. Kodama train sets extended to 16 cars. New cars built with scrolling-text train type/destination display on body side.
1973   Air-blast circuit breaker changed to vacuum breaker and silicon rectifier upgraded.
1974   Dining car (Class 36) added to Hikari train sets. Hikari construction method changed significantly.
1975 10 March: 10 March:Shinkansen operation extended to Hakata.
1976   Series 0-1000 built with smaller side windows and minor changes to control equipment. Decommissioning of versions from earliest operations.
1979   Reclining seats introduced in two prototype cars.
1980   Regular seats modified to reclining seats and three-person seats fixed to face car ends.
1981   New Series 0-2000 built with increased seat pitch, matching Tohoku Shinkansen Series 200.Interior styling also changed.
1982   Total of 3000 Series 0 built.
1984   Length of Kodama cut to 12 cars with decline in use.
1985   Series 0 built totals 3216 cars with 38th version. 6 - car Kodama introduced on San’yo Shinkansen.
1987 1 April: JNR privatization and division. JR Central Kodama seating changed to 2+2 in ordinary cars. JR West and JR Central use different arrangements of Series 0 cars.
1988   2 + 2 seating arrangement introduced on JR West’s Hikari. Cinema cars introduced on some services.
    Kodama on Tokaido Shinkansen extended to 16 cars again.
1992   Swivelling three-car reclining seats introduced on JR West Hikari.
1995   Children’s salon introduced on JR West Series 0 Hikari San’yo Shinkansen services.
End of Series 0 Shinkansen
1992   Decommissioning of Series 0 shinkansen accelerates with introduction of Series 300 services.
1994   Series 0 dining car operation discontinued.
1995   Series 0 Hikari disappear from JR Central.
1997   JR West introduces shortest 4-car train sets on San’yo Shinkansen Kodama services.
1999   September:JR Central retires Series 0 entirely and JR West retires Series 0 from Tokaido Shinkansen section.
2000   JR West retires Series 0 with introduction of Series 700. Series 0 Kodama services remain only on San’yo Shinkansen section.
2002   JR West changes Series 0 livery to grey and green.
2008   October:Four Series 0 carriages preserved at JR West’s Modern Transportation Museum declared Railway Memorial.
  November: JR West retires all Series 0 train sets.
Photo: Tokaido Shinkansen departure ceremony at Tokyo Station on 1 October 1964 (The Railway Museum)
Photo: Tokaido Shinkansen opening commemorative B express ticket (The Railway Museum)
Photo: Tokaido Shinkansen departure ceremony at Shin-Osaka (Modern Transportation Museum)
Photo: Prototype shinkansen train (The Railway Museum)
Photo: Tokaido Shinkansen test ride commemorative ticket (The Railway Museum)
Photo: Train name plate. These were used when the line first opened, but abandoned later due to concern over the danger of them falling off. (The Railway Museum)
Photo: Series 0 shinkansen ordinary car interior (Modern Transportation Museum)
Photo: Opening of shinkansen at Okayama (Modern Transportation Museum)
Photo: 951 type shinkansen S46 (Modern Transportation Museum)
Photo: Last day of limited express Kodama service with shinkansen on trial run on day before opening (The Railway Museum)
Photo: Hakata Station platform under construction (Modern Transportation Museum)
Photo: Reclining three-person seats facing car ends (Yuji Manabe)
Photo: Series 0-1000 introduced in 1976 (with smaller windows) (Yuji Manabe)
Photo: 961 prototype at Oyama Station on shinkansen test track on 21 July 1979 (Modern Transportation Museum)
Photo: 2+2 interior of ordinary Series 0 car at Osaka No. 1 Depot (JR Central)
Photo: Series 0-2000 in 1981 with slightly larger windows than Series 0-1000 (Yuji Manabe)

Photo: Main Series 0-1000 train set (Yuji Manabe)
Photo: Interior of JR West Hikari (JR West)
Photo: Children’s salon on Family Hikari (JR West)
Photo: Series 0 dining car (JR Central)
Photo: Series 0 and Series 300 standing at Tokyo Station (JR Central)
Photo: Series 0 decommissioning ceremony (Okayama Station) (Kotsu Shimbun)
Photo: Series 0 decorated for decommissioning from JR Central (JR Central)

Series 0 shinkansen trains were in service from 1964 to November 2008. During their operation, several sub-series were made, and there were numerous modifications. Here is a brief history of Series 0.