Showing posts from April, 2013

JR East Series E6

Oops... sorry I missed another week. I haven't been very good this year have I. However, I do bring you another very fast train, and this time, it's actually something we the general public can ride on (well, given a trans-Pacific flight ticket is taken care of and all that).

Let me present you the Series E6Mini-shinkansen (meaning the trainset needs to come off the high speed lines at some point and operate along existing lines at no more than 80 mph and need to fit into a smaller loading gage similar to trains on the existing narrow gage trackage) operated by the East Japan Railway Company (JR East). This tilting electric multiple unit may look a bit familiar. Yes, she sports similar exterior design to her bigger cousin, the E5, and she's also the production product of the test train Fastech 360 Z (Z for Zairaisen or existing line). The E6 wears a pink livery, resembling the E3 operating on the Komachi service between Tokyo and Akita. As you may have guessed at this poin…

JR East Class E954 Fastech 360 S

I think I’m gonna continue with this “theme” of Japanese experimental or prototype trainsets. This week, let me introduce you a more recent high speed prototype electric multiple unit, East Japan Railway Company (JR East)’s Class E954, or more commonly known to the public as the Fastech 360 S. Well the term “fastech” sounds easy enough to decode. The 360 in the name of this 8-car EMU denotes the target revenue speed of the production train in km/h, and the letter S stands for Shinkansen (new trunk line), to disginguish the Class E954 from the Class E955, aka the Fastech 360 Z, Z for Zaraisen (existing line).

The Fastech 360 was designed to have the same stopping distance and external noise level opearting at 360 km/h (224 mph) as the existing Series E2 trainsets operating at 275 km/h (171 mph, the maximum line speed then on the Tôhoku Shinkansen line). The E954 was also to reach a maximum speed of 405 km/h (252 mph) during test runs. Like the previously discussed WIN350, the Fastech 3…

Shinkansen WIN350

I’ve written about the Series 500 Shinkansen on this blog before. So this time I’m gonna talk about the experimental trainset that has let to the production and deployment of the flagship train then of the West Japan Railway Company (JR West). She had a few names, 500X, Series 500-900, or WIN350 (which is probably the more commonly known name and it stood for West Japan’s Innovation for operation at 350 km/h, yeah, really).

The concept of a train capable of 350 km/h in service on the Sanyō Shinkansen Line first surfaced at JR West in around 1990. The Sanyō Shinkansen Line is one of the more recent HSL’s in Japan, which opened in 1972. Compared to the original Tōkaidō Shinkansen Line, the Sanyō Line had more forgiving grades and radii of curvature and hence higher allowable top speed. The WIN350 officially rolled out in 1992. A number of new components were tested aboard the WIN350, including 3 styles of trucks, 2 nose shapes, and 2 styles of pantographs (one of which was the famous w…