Saturday, 21 December 2013

Shinano: The Longest Daytime Limited Express in Japan

EMU JR Central 383 series, limited express "Shinano" arrives at Matsumoto Station
I had an opportunity to visit Matsumoto City in the Chubu District. It is located about 200km west of Tokyo, and is the second largest city of Nagano Prefecture. Matsumoto has grown as the castle city of the lords of Matsumoto Province since the 16th century. We can still see the beautiful castle tower in the center of the city as it was.
After my assignment, I shot some trains at Matsumoto Station on the way back home. We can see many kinds of trains there, as three companies' trains come to this station, namely JR East, JR Central and Alpico Kotsu.

The photo shows an EMU, JR Central 383 series, limited express "Shinano", which is an old name of Nagano Prefecture. This train is known as Japan's longest daytime limited express other than Shinkansen. Connecting Osaka, the largest city in the western part of Japan, and Nagano, the main city of Nagano Prefecture, the total operating length is 441.2km. It takes 5 hours and 18 minutes if you ride on the entire route.

The 383 series debuted in 1994 to replace the old EMU, 381 series. A total of 17 sets, 76 units have been manufactured by Nippon Sharyo, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Hitachi. One of the outstanding features of this train is its curve passage performance. By tilting the train's body, the 383 series achieved an operation speed of 35km per hour higher than that of standard trains on a 600m curve.

EMU JR Central 383 series (a cab with a gangway in the front) arrives at Matsumoto Station
More information about the EMU JR Central 383 series (in Japanese):