Saturday, 12 September 2015

Fujikawa: Trans-Mountain Express in Chubu District

EMU JR Central 373 series, limited express "Fujikawa", travels on the Tokaido Main Line
Chubu is the central district of Japan. It consists of nine prefectures including Shizuoka and Yamanashi, and is known as a mountainous area in the Japanese backbone.

The limited express "Fujikawa" is a representative train in Chubu District. Connecting Shizuoka in Shizuoka Prefecture and Kofu in Yamanashi Prefecture, its total operating length is 122.4 km. The whole route is an electrified single or double track. The track gauge is 1067 mm, and the electric system is 1,500 V DC overhead. The most distinctive feature of this route is the trans-mountain railway penetrating the Japanese backbone range along Fujikawa River. It is a bridge-tunnel railway, which connects cities located on the Pacific Ocean and the Kofu Basin.

Using the EMU 373 series, Fujikawa Express is operated every two hours on average. The 373 series was launched in 1995 to replace an old express train, the EMU 165 series. A total of 14 sets, 42 units have been manufactured so far by Nippon Sharyo and Hitachi. Normally, Fujikawa Express is operated as a 3-car train of the 373 series. It takes 2 hours and 20 minutes from Shizuoka to Kofu Station.

I like the 373 series as it is stylish; however, I suggest that it should have a tilting system to pass through tight curves at a high speed. As you know, the route of the Fujikawa Express has many curves in the mountainous area. I hope that the new model replacing the present 373 series has a tilting system in the future.
EMU JR Central 373 series, limited express "Fujikawa",arrives at Shizuoka Station
Official information about EMU JR Central 373 series (in Japanese):