Resort Shirakami
Resort-shirakami-Aoike 2nd in Akita.jpg
HB-E300 series Aoike set in August 2011
Overview
Service typeRapid/ Sightseeing train
StatusOperational
LocaleJapan
PredecessorNostalgic View Train
First serviceMarch 1997
Current operator(s)JR East
Route
StartAkita
Stops23
EndHirosaki, Aomori
Distance travelled235.0 km (146.0 mi)
Average journey timeapprox. 5 hours
Service frequency3 return workings daily
Line(s) usedŌu Main Line, Gonō Line
On-board services
Class(es)Standard only
Disabled accessYes
Seating arrangements2+2 unidirectional + compartments
Sleeping arrangementsNone
Catering facilitiesYes
Observation facilitiesYes
Entertainment facilitiesYes
Other facilitiesToilets
Technical
Rolling stockKiHa 48, HB-E300 series DMUs
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
ElectrificationNone
Operating speed100 km/h (62 mph)
Track owner(s)JR East

The Resort Shirakami (リゾートしらかみ, Rizōto Shirakami) is a limited-stop "Rapid" service operated by the East Japan Railway Company (JR East) as a sightseeing train along the scenic coastal Gonō Line in the north of Japan since March 1997.

Operations

The train service operates between Akita and Aomori via the Ōu Main Line and Gonō Line, with the journey taking approximately 5 hours.[1] Three return services run daily, with one service operating between Akita and Hirosaki only, and the other two reversing at Hirosaki.[1]

Stops

Trains stop at the following stations:

Akita - Oiwake - Hachirōgata - (Moritake) - Higashi-Noshiro - Noshiro - Akita-Shirakami - Iwadate - Jūniko - WeSPa-Tsubakiyama - Fukaura - (Senjōjiki) - Ajigasawa - Mutsu-Morita - Kizukuri - Goshogawara - Mutsu-Tsuruda - Itayanagi - Fujisaki - Kawabe - Hirosaki - Shin-Aomori - Aomori

Stations in brackets () are stations where not all trains stop at or stations which are only called at during certain times of the year.

Rolling stock

Services are operated by three dedicated four-car diesel multiple unit sets based at Akita Depot, named Aoike (青池), Buna (), and Kumagera (くまげら), converted from former KiHa 48 DMU cars. The original KiHa 48 Aoike trainset was replaced by a new HB-E300 series hybrid DMU set, which entered service on 4 December 2010.[2] An additional four-car HB-E300 series hybrid DMU set was built for use on Buna services from July 2016, replacing the KiHa 48 DMU set previously used. The exterior livery and interior design was overseen by Ken Okuyama Design.[3]

All cars are no-smoking, and all seats require advance seat reservations.[1]

KiHa 48 Aoike

The original KiHa 48 Aoike 4-car set in September 2005
The original KiHa 48 Aoike 4-car set in September 2005
The KiHa 48 Aoike set reduced to 3 cars, in August 2010
The KiHa 48 Aoike set reduced to 3 cars, in August 2010

This was the first Resort Shirakami trainset introduced, converted from former KiHa DMU cars at JR East's Tsuchizaki Works, and entering service in March 1997.[4] It was initially formed as a four-car set, as shown below.[5] The end cars were built with new cab ends, while the two inner cars retained their original driving cabs.[4] The name Aoike was added in March 2003 to distinguish it from the second Resort Shirakami ("Buna").[6]

Car No. 1 2 3 4
Number KiHa 48 533 KiHa 48 1521 KiHa 48 1543 KiHa 48 540
Seating capacity 40 32 32 40

From March 2006, the set was reduced to three cars, as shown below, with car KiHa 48 1521 repainted and inserted into the newly created Kumagera trainset.[6]

Car No. 1 2 3
Number KiHa 48 533 KiHa 48 1543 KiHa 48 540
Seating capacity 40 32 40

The end cars had large panorama windows and featured conventional unidirectional seating, with a small lounge space behind the driving cabs.[4] The two inner cars each had eight four-person semi-open compartments.[4]

This set was replaced in 2010 by a new 4-car HB-E300 series hybrid DMU set, and was reformed as a two-car trainset for use on other lines from February 2011, branded as Cruising Train (クルージングトレイン).[7]

KiHa 48 Buna

The KiHa 48 Buna 3-car set in October 2010
The KiHa 48 Buna 3-car set in October 2010

Following the popularity of the original Resort Shirakami (Aoike) trainset, a second set was built in March 2003, from former KiHa 40 DMU cars at JR East's Tsuchizaki Works, and named Buna (, "Japanese beech").[6] This train entered service on 1 April 2003, and was initially formed as a 3-car set as shown below.[5]

Car No. 1 2 3
Number KiHa 48 701 KiHa 48 1701 KiHa 48 702
Seating capacity 39 32 40

In December 2010, it was lengthened to four cars with the addition of KiHa 1543, formerly part of the original Aoike set, and formed as shown below.[6]

Car No. 1 2 3 4
Number KiHa 48 701 KiHa 48 1701 KiHa 1543 KiHa 48 702
Seating capacity 39 32 32 40

The former identities of the rebuilt cars are as follows.[6]

Current number Former number
KiHa 48 701 KiHa 40 506
KiHa 48 1701 KiHa 40 507
KiHa 48 1543 KiHa 48 1543 (unchanged)
KiHa 48 702 KiHa 40 510

As with the earlier Aoike set, the end cars have large panorama windows and feature conventional 2+2 abreast unidirectional seating, with a small lounge space behind the driving cabs.[4] The inner car has semi-open compartments with seats that can pulled out to create a flat seating space. It also included a smoking compartment.[4]

KiHa 48 Kumagera

The KiHa 48 Kumagera 3-car set in October 2010
The KiHa 48 Kumagera 3-car set in October 2010

This was the third Resort Shirakami trainset to be built, entering service on 18 March 2006.[8] The name Kumagera is the Japanese name for the black woodpecker, which lives in the Shirakami-Sanchi area, a World Heritage Site.[8] This train was initially formed as a 3-car set as shown below.[6] Car KiHa 48 1521 was originally included in the Aoike trainset.[4]

Car No. 1 2 3
Number KiHa 48 703 KiHa 48 1521 KiHa 48 704
Seating capacity 39 32 40

In December 2010, it was lengthened to four cars, formed as shown below .[6]

Car No. 1 2 3 4
Number KiHa 48 703 KiHa 48 1521 KiHa 1503 KiHa 48 704
Seating capacity 39 32 40 40

The former identities of the rebuilt cars are as follows.[6]

Current number Former number
KiHa 48 702 KiHa 40 506
KiHa 48 1521 KiHa 48 1521 (unchanged)
KiHa 48 1503 KiHa 48 1503 (unchanged)
KiHa 48 704 KiHa 40 510

As with the earlier trainsets, the end cars have large panorama windows, ten rows of conventional 2+2 abreast unidirectional seating, and a small lounge space behind the driving cabs.[4] The inner car has eight semi-open compartments with seats that can pulled out to create a flat seating space.[4]

HB-E300 series Aoike

The HB-E300 series Aoike set in June 2011
The HB-E300 series Aoike set in June 2011

This is a four-car hybrid DMU set, which replaced the original KiHa 48 Aoike set and entered service from 4 December 2010.[2]

The trainset is formed as shown below.[9]

Car 1 2 3 4
Number HB-E301-1 HB-E300-101 HB-E300-1 HB-E302-1
Seating capacity 34 36 40 44

The end cars have conventional 2+2 abreast unidirectional seating, and a small lounge space behind the driving cabs.[9] The inner cars have semi-open compartments.[9]

HB-E300 series Buna

The HB-E300 series Buna set in July 2016
The HB-E300 series Buna set in July 2016

This is a four-car hybrid DMU set introduced on 16 July 2016, replacing the original KiHa 48 Buna set.[10]

The trainset is formed as shown below.[10]

Car 1 2 3 4
Numbering HB-E301-5 HB-E300-105 HB-E300-5 HB-E302-5

Cars 1, 2, and 4 have conventional 2+2 abreast unidirectional seating, while car 3 has semi-open compartments.[10]

History

The Nostalgic View Train circa 1992
The Nostalgic View Train circa 1992

The Resort Shirakami service was introduced in March 1997, coinciding with the opening of the Akita Shinkansen.[11] It replaced the locomotive-hauled Nostalgic View Train (ノスタルジックビュートレイン), formed of three converted 50 series coaches, which previously operated as a sightseeing train on the Gono Line.[4]

A new HB-E300 series 4-car hybrid DMU trainset entered service as the Resort Shirakami - Aoike from 4 December 2010, replacing the original KiHa 48 DMU set, and coinciding with the opening of the Tohoku Shinkansen extension to Shin-Aomori.[2]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c JR Timetable (in Japanese), Japan: Kotsu Shimbunsha, pp. 674–675, EAN 4910053111034
  2. ^ a b c JRがリゾート新型車両を公開 青森、秋田走るしらかみ [JR unveils new resort train "Shirakami" linking Aomori and Akita]. 47 News (in Japanese). Japan: Press Net Japan Co., Ltd. 24 September 2010. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  3. ^ リゾートしらかみにHB-E300系を追加投入 [Additional HB-E300 series to be introduced on Resort Shirakami]. Tetsudo.com (in Japanese). Japan: Asahi Interactive, Inc. 14 May 2015. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j JR全車輌ハンドブック2009 [JR Rolling Stock Handbook 2009]. Japan: Neko Publishing. 2009. p. 410. ISBN 978-4-7770-0836-0.
  5. ^ a b  JR気動車客車編成表 '04年版 [JR DMU & Coaching Stock Formations - 2004]. Japan: JRR. 1 July 2004. p. 36. ISBN 4-88283-125-2.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h JR気動車客車編成表 2013 [JR DMU & Coaching Stock Formations - 2013]. Japan: Kotsu Shimbunsha. 30 June 2013. pp. 42–43. ISBN 978-4-330-37813-8.
  7. ^ 「リゾートしらかみ/青池」先頭車が「クルージングトレイン」に ["Resort Shirakami - Aoike" end cars become "Cruising Train"]. Japan Railfan Magazine Online (in Japanese). Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. 7 February 2011. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  8. ^ a b Haraguchi, Takayuki (2009). Encyclopedia of JR's Railway Cars: JR全車輌. Japan: Sekai Bunka. p. 203. ISBN 978-4-418-09905-4.
  9. ^ a b c Nakagami, Masato (September 2010). "HB-E300系" [HB-E300 Series]. Japan Railfan Magazine. Vol. 50, no. 593. Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. pp. 61–66.
  10. ^ a b c リゾートしらかみ橅 [Resort Shirakami - Buna]. Japan Railfan Magazine (in Japanese). Vol. 56, no. 664. Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. August 2016. pp. 50–52.
  11. ^ 五能線用リゾート列車「リゾートしらかみ」 ["Resort Shirakami" resort train for the Gono Line]. Japan Railfan Magazine (in Japanese). Vol. 37, no. 432. Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. April 1997. p. 49.