Friday, 13 October 2017

Standard Commuter Train on Kyushu Island

EMU JR Kyushu 811 series stands at Mojiko station yard

JR Kyushu is the largest railway company on Kyushu Island. It was established in 1987 following the breakup and privatization of Japanese National Railways. When JR Kyushu was launched, many economic analysts pointed out that this company would soon face severe managing conditions, since its railway network was located in underpopulated areas with low transport density. 29 years later, however, the performance of JR Kyushu was much better than what the economic analysts had predicted. As a result, JR Kyushu was listed in the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange on October 16, 2016.

The EMU 811 series is the first commuter train developed by JR Kyushu. It is a 4-car train for 20 kV and 60 Hz alternate current tracks. A total of 28 sets, 112 units, were built by Kinki Sharyo, Hitachi and JR Kyushu Kokura Factory from 1989 to 1993. The 811 series has a thyristor phase electric control system with direct current motors. It was a rather old system, so that some of the 811 series were recently renovated with VVVF inverter (variable-frequency drive) electric control systems.

The EMU 811 series has become a driving force of JR Kyushu's company growth. Replacing the old 415 series, it has been playing the leading role of urban transportation in Fukuoka and Kita-Kyushu cities. Although new commuter trains, such as the EMU 813 and 817 series, have appeared one after another, the 811 series still keeps the main position of the JR Kyushu's standard commuter trains.

EMU JR Kyushu 813 series (left, red colored) and the 811 series