Saturday, February 14, 2015

JRF Class EF66-100 for High Speed Freight Trains

Pulling a containerized freight train, the EL Class JRF EF66-100 travels on the Tokaido Main Line
Although the freight trains of Japanese National Railways (JNR) used to be the main of freight transportation in Japan, the volume of rail freight transportation has been decreasing since the 1970s due to the expansion of expressways. In 1987, JNR was split into seven JR group companies, which were mostly regional passenger railway firms, but a rail freight company, namely JR Freight (JRF), was also established to operate the freight trains on a nationwide scale, using the other JR group companies' tracks.

Even after JRF started its operation, the volume of rail freight transportation has remained low; however, their business has been moving back into profit due to the increasing demand for environmental protection and the management efforts to introduce new locomotives and freight cars for express deliveries.

The electric locomotive (EL), class EF66-100 is one of JRF's main EL fleets with a direct current electric system. It debuted in 1989 to reinforce JRF's transportation capacity. A total of 33 units have been manufactured so far by Kawasaki Heavy Industries. The original EF66 was debuted by JNR in 1968 to pull high speed freight trains at a maximum speed of 100 km/hour. The new EF66-100 is more evolved and the design of the body has been changed to more sophisticated one.

Currently, the new model, class EF210 is gradually replacing the EF66, but, I hope that the EF66-100 will continue to be operated the same as it has been up until now.

Pulling a containerized freight train, the EL Class JRF EF66-100 travels on the Musashino Line