Hamanasu (train)

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Hamanasu service at Sapporo Station, January 2005
Service type Express
Locale Japan
First service 1955
Current operator(s) JR Hokkaido
Start Aomori
End Sapporo
On-board services
Seating arrangements 2+2 reclining seating
Sleeping arrangements Compartments/carpeted floor accommodation
Catering facilities None
Rolling stock 14/24 series coaches
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Operating speed 110 km/h (70 mph)[1]

The Hamanasu (はまなす?) is an overnight express train service in Japan operated by Hokkaido Railway Company (JR Hokkaido), which runs from Aomori to Sapporo via the Tsugaru Line, Kaikyo Line, Esashi Line, Hakodate Main Line, Muroran Main Line, and Chitose Line.[1] The journey takes approximately seven and a half hours.[2] Following the withdrawal of the Ginga overnight express service between Tokyo and Osaka in 2008, the Hamanasu became the only locomotive-hauled express service in Japan.

Rolling stock[edit]

Hamanasu service at Aomori Station, headed by an ED79 locomotive, January 2005
Rear of Hamanasu service at Aomori Station, March 2007

The train is formed of 14 and 24 series seating cars and sleeping cars based at JR Hokkaido's Sapporo Depot, typically consisting of 7 cars. The train is hauled by a JR Hokkaido Hakodate-based ED79 AC electric locomotive between Aomori and Hakodate, and by a Hakodate-based DD51 diesel locomotive between Hakodate and Sapporo.[1]

The typical formation in 2010 was as follows.[3]

  1. SuHaNeFu 14-550 (Sleeping car with generator)
  2. OHaNe 24-500 (Sleeping car)
  3. SuHaFu 14-550 (Non-reserved seating car with generator)
  4. OHa 14-500 (Reserved "Nobinobi Carpet" sleeping car)
  5. OHa 14-500 (Reserved "Dream car" seating car)
  6. OHa 14-500 (Reserved "Dream car" seating car)
  7. SuHaFu 14-500 (Non-reserved seating car with generator)

The "Dream cars" use reclining seats from former Green cars.



The Hamanasu was introduced on 1 June 1955 as a semi-express operating between Hakodate and Abashiri via Sapporo. From 1 October 1961, this was upgraded to Express status as a service operating between Sapporo and Abashiri. This operated until 30 September 1968, when the services were integrated with the Taisetsu (大雪?) express services.[4]

The Hamanasu name was revived from 13 March 1988 for use on overnight express services between Aomori and Sapporo following the opening of the Seikan Tunnel.[5] Initially, the train consisted of five 14 series seating cars only (with two designated as reserved seating cars), but from July 1991, two sleeping cars were included in the formation.[4][5] From March 1997, a "Nobinobi Carpet" sleeping car was also added.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c JR新幹線&特急列車ファイル [JR Shinkansen & Limited Express Train File]. Japan: Kōtsū Shimbun. 2008. ISBN 978-4-330-00608-6. 
  2. ^ "JR Timetable" October 2009 issue
  3. ^ Kato, Masaru (February 2011). "孤高の客車急行"はまなす"" [The sole loco-hauled express - "Hamanasu"]. Japan Railfan Magazine (Japan: Kōyūsha) 51 (598): p.32–37. 
  4. ^ a b 列車名鑑1995 [Train Name Directory 1995]. Japan: Railway Journal. August 1995. 
  5. ^ a b c Kekke, Yoshiyuki (Spring 2004). "現役急行列車ガイド" [Guide to Express Trains Still in Operation]. jtrain (Japan: Ikaros Publications) 13: p.12–15. 

External links[edit]