Monday, December 5, 2016

C-Train 2300 Series: Siemens's Next Generation Model

Calgary Transit 2300 series leaves Brentwood Station on the Route 201 (November, 2011)

December is the month of house cleaning in Japan. It means that we refresh ourselves towards New Year's Day. I have just started the cleaning from my hard disk (not my house!) to arrange my huge amount of photographs, and found that some old photographs are worth showing in this blog. Let's get started from a tram in Canada.

C-Train is known as one of the most successful light rail transit (LRT) systems in North America. It has been operated by Calgary Transit since 1981. Currently, the total operating length reaches 59.9 km. The track is double. The electric system is 600 V DC overhead. The gauge size is 1,435 mm.

Along with the 2000 and 2200 series, the 2300 series is the C-Train's representative model. It is Siemens SD-160NG, which debuted in 2010 to provide for the future extension of C-Train routes. So far, a total of 38 units have been built in Sacrament LRV Factory. The 2300 series is a 24.8 m-long 2-car train with an articulated truck in the center. Each set is equipped with two power trucks. It is powered by four induction motors, which provide a maximum of 580 kW. The 2300 series looks like just a streetcar, but can be amazingly operated at the maximum speed of 80 km/hour. The electric control system is VVVF (variable voltage and variable frequency) inverter.

A small front right on the forehead of the 2300 series is my favorite. It is a good accent of this model.

Calgary Transit 2300 series travels on the downtown section (November, 2011)

Friday, December 2, 2016

Kitatopia: Train Viewing Spot in front of Ouji Station

Railway view from the northern side of the observation deck, Kitatopia

Kitatopia is a seventeen-story building standing in front of JR East Ouji Station. It was constructed on the site of old Ouji Freight Station in 1990 as composite cultural facilities. Kitatopia has three concert halls, meeting rooms, a fitness gym and restaurants, but that is not the only thing it has.

Kitatopia also has a free observation deck on the top floor. Once you visit there, you can access the beautiful scenery of northern Tokyo including the forests of Asukayama Park and Ouji-inari Shrine. More importantly, this spot offers you a great view of JR East's railway tracks just below your eyes.

Let's look at the tracks in detail from the northern side of the deck.

There are elevated double-tracks to the right. They are the Shinkansen tracks. You can see super-express trains such as the blue colored EMU E7 series there. The third and the forth tracks to the right are for the Keihin-Tohoku Line trains. 10-car trains with light blue stripes, namely the EMU E233-1000 series, continuously pass there. The fifth and the sixth tracks to the right are for the Shonan-Shinjuku Line trains and freight trains. For instance, you can see the container cars pulled by an electric locomotive traveling on these tracks. Finally, there are double-tracks of the Ueno-Tokyo Line to the left. The long commuter trains, such as the EMU E231 and the E233-3000 series, are the leading trains on these tracks.

Kitatopia... it is a utopia for rail-fans.

Railway view from the southern side of the observation deck, Kitatopia

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Hakata "Express Museum" on Kyushu Island

EMU 783 series, limited express "Midori" (left) and EMU 787 series, "Kirameki" (right)

Hakata is the largest railway station in Fukuoka Prefecture on Kyushu Island. Many kinds of trains continuously arrive at and leave this giant terminal. As a rail-fan, my greatest pleasure at this station is to see the variety of limited express trains. Let's take a look at some of those trains.

The EMU 783 series, Midori (green), is operated between Hakata and Sasebo, the second largest city in Nagasaki Prefecture. It was launched in 1988 under the name of Hyper-saloon. The 783 series is alternate current (AC) electric cars with a thyristor continuous phase control system. This system converts AC to a variable voltage of direct current (DC) using thyristor semiconductor devices.

The EMU 787 series, Kirameki (shining), is operated between Hakata and Mojiko, the gateway station to Kyushu Island from the main island of Japan. Please look at my previous post describing this model.

The EMU 883 series, Sonic, is operated between Hakata and Ooita (or Saeki). It was launched in 1995 to compete with the express way bus services. It is not as fast as a sonic wave, but the 883 series has a tilting system to pass through tight curves at a high speed.

The EMU 885 series, Kamome (seagull), is operated between Hakata and Nagasaki (or Saga), which are the main cities in Nagasaki and Saga prefectures. The white colored streamlined body is elegant and popular among tourists. It is a representative inter-city limited express train of JR Kyushu Company.

Hakata Station is just like an "express museum".

EMU 883 series, limited express "Sonic" (left) and EMU 885 series, "Kamome" (right)

Official information about JR Kyushu's limited express train, Sonic:
Official information about JR Kyushu's limited express train, Kamome:
Official information about JR Kyushu's limited express train, Midori, Kirameki and the others: