JR Central's Class 923 "Doctor Yellow" set T4 on the Sanyo Shinkansen, March 2010
JR Central's Class 923 "Doctor Yellow" set T4 on the Sanyo Shinkansen, March 2010

Doctor Yellow (ドクターイエロー) is the nickname for the high-speed test trains that are used on the Japanese Shinkansen ("Bullet Train") dedicated express passenger train routes. The trains have special equipment on board to monitor the condition of the track and overhead wire, including special instrumented bogies and observation blisters.[1][2]

The "Doctor" part of the name is from their test and diagnostic function, and the "Yellow" part comes from the bright yellow color they are all painted. Some have a blue waistline stripe, some a green one. The original color scheme of yellow with a blue stripe (applied to the Class 921 track-recording cars) was created by reversing the colors (blue with yellow stripe) used on 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) narrow-gauge track-recording cars.

In build and appearance, they are very similar to production, passenger carrying Shinkansen trains, and line inspection is carried out at full line speed (i.e. up to 270 km/h or 168 mph on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen).

List of Doctor Yellow trains past and present

For Tōkaidō and Sanyō Shinkansen

For Tōhoku, Jōetsu, Hokuriku, Yamagata, and Akita Shinkansen

Interior (Class 923)

Preserved examples

Preserved Doctor Yellow car 922-26 inside the SCMaglev and Railway Park, March 2011
Preserved Doctor Yellow car 922-26 inside the SCMaglev and Railway Park, March 2011

In popular culture

Seeing as the schedule for this train is not made public, sighting is based purely on luck. It is therefore considered to bring good luck to anyone fortunate enough see it in operation.[5]

See also

References

  1. ^ Wada, Shigeki, "'Dr. Yellow' train keeps line safe, elates spotters", Japan Times, March 11, 2010, p. 3.
  2. ^ Naganuma, Yasukuni; Tanaka, Mamoru; Ichikawa, Kimihiro. "High-Speed Track Inspection Car in New Dr. Yellow" (PDF). Railway Research.
  3. ^ "Multipurpose Inspection Train (Dr. Yellow)" (PDF). International High-speed Rail Association.
  4. ^ "「リニア・鉄道館」ファーストガイド" ["SCMaglev and Railway Park" First Guide]. Tetsudō Daiya Jōhō Magazine. Vol. 40 no. 324. Japan: Kōtsū Shimbun. April 2011. pp. 20–33.
  5. ^ "'Dr. Yellow' lucky Shinkansen shows its belly for 1st time". Japan Bullet. Retrieved 2020-10-14.