Sunday, 12 November 2017

Japanese Machu Picchu on the Bantan Line: Part 2

DMU JR West KiHa 189 series, limited express Hamakaze, travels on the Bantan Line

Following my previous post, I am going to show you Japanese Machu Picchu a little bit more.

Japanese Machu Picchu, namely Takeda Castle Ruins, is located at the top of Mt. Kojo. The stone walls of the castle were constructed with various forms of stones on the steep mountain slopes. There are many gaps between the stones, if you look closely. Why? According to a volunteer guide on the site, these gaps are intentionally made in preparation for an earthquake. In other words, these gaps function as a base isolation structure. As you may know, the stone walls would be easily destroyed by shaking with seismic vibrations, if they were too brittle. I admired the wisdom of the ancestors.

To visit Japanese Machu Picchu from the Osaka area, a limited express train, Hamakaze (beach wind) is convenient. Hamakaze is a 3-car diesel train operated with the DMU JR West KiHa 189 series. The silver colored stainless-steel bodies with red and white stripes are dashingly handsome. The KiHa 189 series was launched in 2010 to replace the old limited express model, KiHa 181 series. A total of 7 sets, 21 cars, have been built by Niigata Transys. Each car has two units of Komatsu's 450 ps diesel engines. The hydraulic system is adopted for transmitting engine power to the driving wheels of the vehicle. The maximum speed is 130 km per hour. 

Hamakaze links Osaka with Takeda, a gateway station to the Japanese Machu Picchu on the Bantan Line, in two hours.

Takeda Castle Ruins near Takeda Station on the Bantan Line

Official information about the DMU JR West KiHa 189 series (in Japanese):