JR Kyushu Series 883

I am sitting here thinking about how nice it will be to ride the new InterCity trains by Hitachi in the UK in the not too distant future. Theres not much information on what these trainsets will actually be like when they start rolling down the production line. All I know right now is that they are from the Hitachi A-Train family, and that they will have the big boots of the InterCity 125 and the InterCity 225 to fill. So I thought to myself, why not write a few brief words about another trainset from (but not quite, which I'll explain) the A-Train family that I've known since quite young an age. That trainset is the narrow gage Series 883 tilting electric multiple unit operated by the Kyushu Railway Company (JR Kyushu) of Southern Japan.

Tilting truck of the Series 883
Introduced in 1995, the Series 883 was the first EMU to carry the name of the Sonic limited express train service on the Kagoshima and Nippō mainlines. Now this service is served by both the Series 883 and 885 (another A-Train, also a close relative of the British Rail Class 395 Javelin, which is again, an A-Train).

At the time of introduction, the fleet of Series 883 consisted of five 7-car sets featuring 3 different nose grill designs and three 5-car sets each having a unique color scheme. The trainsets are of stainless steel construction each having 3 powered cars and capable of a top speed of 80 mph in service. The trainsets in this series were refurbished in 2008, where their color schemes were unified and the 5-car sets were lengthened to 7 cars. However, the extra cars in these sets were built to the specification of the Class 885 and were constructed with aluminum alloy instead.

The different exterior designs of the Series 883
The principle features of the Hitachi A-Train are the advanced double skin extruded aluminium structural panels used in the body and  the trains' modular components. Well, clearly, the original cars on the Series 883 were not A-Trains, but the added aluminum cars were. So yeah, I guess I've stretched this one a little, but hey, hope you enjoy some pictures and a video or two of this not-so-bad looking EMU.

The A-Train in the non A-Train


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