Hakuchō (train)

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Hakuchō
Super Hakuchō
485 Hakucho 18 at Aomori 20030101.JPG
485-3000 series Hakuchō at Aomori Station, January 2003
Overview
Service type Limited express
Status Operational
Locale Japan
First service 1960 (Semi express)
1961 (Limited express)
Current operator(s) JR East, JR Hokkaido
Former operator(s) JNR
Route
Start Shin-Aomori
End Hakodate
Distance travelled 164.3 km (102.1 mi)
Line used Tsugaru-Kaikyō Line
On-board services
Class(es) Green + standard
Seating arrangements 2+2
Catering facilities Trolley service
Technical
Rolling stock 485-3000 series (Hakuchō)
789 series/785 series (Super Hakuchō) EMUs
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification 20 kV AC, 50 Hz
Operating speed 140 km/h (85 mph)

The Hakuchō (白鳥 Hakuchō?) and Super Hakuchō (スーパー白鳥?) are Japanese limited express train services which operate between Shin-Aomori and Hakodate via the undersea Seikan Tunnel. The services are operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East) and Hokkaido Railway Company (JR Hokkaido) respectively. The services commenced on 1 December 2002, initially operating between Hachinohe and Hakodate, coinciding with the opening of the Tōhoku Shinkansen extension from Morioka to Hachinohe.[1]

Hakuchō[edit]

The Hakuchō services operate between Shin-Aomori and Hakodate using refurbished JR East 485-3000 series 6-car EMUs, extended to 8 cars during busy seasons.[1] Services operate at a maximum speed of 140 km/h (85 mph) on the ATC-controlled section of the Seikan Tunnel, with the fastest services between Shin-Aomori and Hakodate taking 2 hours 8 minutes.[2]

The Hakuchō name actually dates back to 1960, as the name of a service which ran from Osaka to Aomori until March 2001. The name was reused for the new services starting in 2002 by popular demand.

Super Hakuchō[edit]

The Super Hakuchō services operate between Shin-Aomori and Hakodate using JR Hokkaido 789 series 6- and 8-car EMUs and a converted 785-300 series 2-car EMU set.[1] As with the Hakuchō services, these trains operate at a maximum speed of 140 km/h (85 mph) on the ATC-controlled section of the Seikan Tunnel, with the fastest services between Shin-Aomori and Hakodate taking 2 hours 1 minute.[2]

History[edit]

485 series EMU on a Hakuchō service at Aomori Station, 1991

The Hakuchō service was first introduced from 28 December 1960, as a semi express service operating between Akita and Same via Aomori.[3]

From 1 October 1961, the train was upgraded to become a limited express service operating between Osaka and Aomori and Ueno via Naoetsu using KiHa 80 series diesel multiple units. From 1965, the Ueno services were separated to become the Hakutaka, and the Hakuchō was rerouted via Niigata. 485 series electric multiple units were used from October 1972. From 1988, the rolling stock was refurbished and repainted in a new livery of cream with light blue and dark blue waistline stripes.[3] Hakuchō services between Osaka and Aomori ran until 2 March 2001.

From 1 December 2002, the "Hakuchō" name was revived for services between Hachinohe and Hakodate, coinciding with the opening of the Tohoku Shinkansen extension from Morioka to Hachinohe, replacing the earlier locomotive-hauled Kaikyō rapid services which operated between Morioka and Hakodate.[1]

From the start of the revised timetable on 4 December 2010, with the opening of the Tohoku Shinkansen from Hachinohe to Shin-Aomori, the Hakuchō and Super Hakuchō trains were also reorganized to operate from Shin-Aomori to Hakodate via Aomori.


References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d JR新幹線&特急列車ファイル [JR Shinkansen & Limited Express Train File]. Japan: Kōtsū Shimbun. 2008. p. 82. ISBN 978-4-330-00608-6. 
  2. ^ a b Kekke, Yoshiyuki (August 2013). "JR高速在来線列車ガイド" [JR high-speed conventional train service guide]. Tetsudō Daiya Jōhō Magazine (in Japanese) (Japan: Kōtsū Shimbun) 42 (352): p.16-17. 
  3. ^ a b 列車名鑑1995 [Train Name Directory 1995]. Japan: Railway Journal. August 1995. p. 81/128. 

External links[edit]