Sunday, 19 February 2012

Countdown to the Last Run, Shinkansen 300 Series

EMU Shinkansen 300 series and railfans at Tokyo Station, the Tokaido Shinkansen

It was Friday evening, 8.40pm at Tokyo Station. Despite the cold and occasional flurries, a number of rail fans were waiting for a train, which would arrive at platform number 16. That was the EMU Shinkansen JR West 300 series originally from Okayama Station. Why is it so popular among rail fans? It's because the EMU 300 series will retire soon. Recently, JR Central and West made a press release that the last run is planned on March 16th on the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen.

The EMU 300 series launched in 1990 to decrease the travel time between Tokyo and Osaka, Japan's two major cities, competing with airliners. For that purpose, the maximum speed was raised up from 220 to 270km per hour. The new super express train, "Nozomi (Desire)" commenced and was operated using the 300 series. Since then, the EMU 300 series have been running east and west on the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen. But, in recent years, they didn't have many lines, as the new EMU 700 and N700 series have replaced them. Consequently, March 16th will be their last run.

The retirement date is still one month away; however, many rail fans are visiting stations to take pictures and/or ride the 300 series to remember it. They are adults, children, boys, girls, mothers and families. Sayonara (good bye) and arigato (thank you) to the 300 series. We will never forget you through the years.

A young female railfan shoots 300 series at Tokyo Station, the Tokaido Shinkansen

More information about the last run, EMU Shinkansen 300 series (in Japanese):