Thursday, 8 January 2015

Sunrise Express in the Volkerwanderung Season

EMU JR Central 285 series, overnight sleeper train, "Sunrise Express" enters Tokyo Station

Along with "Obon (a Buddhist festival)", Year-end and New Year is the largest holiday season for Japanese people. Many people take holidays, and go back to their hometown to visit their parents, relatives and friends. One day in this "volkerwandering season", I visited Tokyo Station to see what was going on. It was hustle-bustle on platform number 9. Most people were families, who would go back to their hometowns, boarding on the Sunrise Express.

What is the Sunrise Express? It is an overnight sleeper train that has comfortable berthing. Connecting Tokyo, Takamatsu and Izumo-shi, it travels on four JR group railways, namely JR East, JR Central, JR West and JR Shikoku. A 14-car train, the EMU 285 series is operated as the "Sunrise Seto and Sunrise Izumo Express", from Tokyo to Okayama. This train is detached after arriving at Okayama Station. The Sunrise Seto Express (a 7-car train) then runs to Takamatsu; meanwhile, another 7-car train is operated to Izumo-shi as the Sunrise Izumo Express.

For your information, the EMU 285 series is a 1,067 mm gauge size and 1,500 V DC sleeper train owned by JR West and JR Central. A total of 5 sets, 35 units were manufactured in 1998 by Kinki Sharyo, Nippon Sharyo and Kawasaki Heavy Industries. I think that the sleeper EMU, the 285 series, is quite unique. So, I hope that the 285 series will continue to be operated the same as it has been till now.

Boarding on the Sunrise Express, have a nice dream!

The Sunrise Express (Sunrise Seto & Sunrise Izumo) stands at platform number 9 in Tokyo Station

Route map of Sunrise Seto and Sunrise Izumo Express (in Japanese):
More photos of the Sunrise Express:
More information about Sunrise Express (Interior photos with captions in Japanese):