Akita Shinkansen E3 Komachi

The Series E3 on the Akita Shinkansen Line is one EMU I hold dear to my heart. Nick named Komachi, after a famous poet from the region whose name is also synonymous with “belle” or “beauty” in Japanese, the E3 was the first high-speed EMU I became familiar with after playing the railroad simulation game while I was in my grade school days for the PlayStation, Densha de Go! (Let’s Go by Train).


The E3 is classified as a “mini-shinkansen” train, as she operates at relatively low speed (80 mph) on rail lines converted from cape gage (42 in.) to standard gage (56 1/2 in.) outside of dedicated high-speed lines. The car body of the mini-shinkansen trains needs to be narrower than trains operated only on dedicated high-speed lines due to the smaller loading gage on the converted lines (9 ft. 8 in. for mini-shinkansen trains compared to 11 ft. for standard trains). The E3 features one of the most simplistic nose shape designs of all Japanese high-speed trains but still looks quite good. Three variants of production E3s have been built by Kawasaki and Tokyu, the Series E3, E3-1000, and E-2000. Trainsets used in the Akita Shinkansen service are the original Series E3 only and they have been in service since 1997. On dedicated high-speed lines, the top speed of the Komachi is 170 mph.


This is a music video from the game made for the E3 Komachi. The song was also dedicated to the train and was named Love Tokyu Komachi, or Love Limited Express Komachi.

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