Saturday, January 3, 2015

Haruka: Access from Kansai Airport to Osaka City

EMU JR West 281 series, the airport express train, "Haruka", travels on the Hanwa Line
 
There are two international airports in Osaka Prefecture. One of them is Osaka Airport, known as Itami. Another one is Kansai Airport. Kansai is the newer airport constructed in Osaka Bay. It is located 5 km offshore from Izumi-Sano City. If you arrive at Kansai Airport, you can choose from two railway routes to go to downtown Osaka... JR West or Nankai Electric Railway.

JR West's representative airport train is the EMU 281 series, "Haruka (far away)" express. Connecting Kansai Airport and Shin-Osaka, Kyoto and Maibara stations, and it is operated every half an hour on average. The 281 series is a 6 or 9 (6+3)-car train debuted in 1994. A total of 9 sets, 63 units have been manufactured so far by Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Kinki Sharyo. It is a 1,067 mm size-gauge and 1,500 V DC train with GTO-VVVF inverter (variable frequency drive) electric control system. The maximum speed of the 281 series is 130km/hour.

I used Haruka to go to Osaka City from Kansai Airport last November. Please note that the Haruka doesn't stop at Osaka Station because it is operated via the Umeda Freight Line. So, I got off at Shin-Osaka and came back to Osaka Station by a local train on the Tokaido Main Line.

When I reached Osaka Terminal, I could see the beautiful deep ultramarine color in the western sky after the sunset. The twilight hour in Osaka was a photogenic period the same as in Tokyo.

 
Night view of the central north square in JR West Osaka Station
 
More information about the EMU JR West 281 series, "Haruka" (in Japanese):
More information about Kansai Airport access trains: