E3 series train
|Locale||Tohoku Shinkansen, Akita Shinkansen|
|First service||22 March 1997|
|Current operator(s)||JR East|
|Distance travelled||670.2 km (416.4 mi)|
|Class(es)||Standard + Green|
|Catering facilities||Trolley service|
|Rolling stock||E3 series, E6 series|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)|
|Electrification||25/20 kV AC overhead|
|Operating speed||275 km/h (170 mph) (Komachi)
300 km/h (185 mph) (Super Komachi)
The Komachi (こまち) is a high-speed shinkansen service between Tokyo and Akita in Japan, operated by the East Japan Railway Company (JR East) since March 1997. It is the only shinkansen service that runs on the Akita Shinkansen, and uses E3 series and E6 series (Super Komachi) trains. Between Tokyo Station and Morioka, it couples with Tohoku Shinkansen E2 series or E5 series Hayate or Hayabusa trainsets. After Morioka, the Komachi service continues along standard gauge tracks that were converted from narrow gauge. Because it then runs on tracks that have grade crossings, its maximum speed from Morioka to Akita is 130 km/h (80 mph), compared to 300 km/h (185 mph) (275 km/h (170 mph) for E3 series) on the Tohoku Shinkansen.
The Komachi service was named after a famous poet from the area, Ono no Komachi, whose name (小町) is also synonymous with "belle" or "beauty" in Japanese.
(*) Not served by all trains.
Komachi services are operated by six-car E3 series trainsets, which operate at a maximum speed of 275 km/h (170 mph) coupled to E2 series or E5 series Hayate trainsets between Tokyo and Morioka. Car 11, the "Green" (first class) car, is at the Tokyo end. All seats are reserved and no-smoking. Super Komachi services are operated by seven-car E6 series trainsets with similar facilities, running at a maximum speed of 300 km/h (185 mph) on the Tohoku Shinkansen coupled to E5 series Hayabusa trainsets.
E3 series Komachi
|Facilities||Wheelchair space||Wheelchair space||Cardphone||Cardphone|
E6 series Super Komachi
|Facilities||Wheelchair space||Wheelchair space / Cardphone||Cardphone|
Komachi services began on the newly opened Akita Shinkansen line from the start of the revised timetable on 22 March 1997 using a fleet of 16 new 5-car E3 series trains. The name Komachi was officially announced in July 1996.
Services initially consisted of 13 return workings daily between Tokyo and Akita, and one return working between Sendai and Akita. Most trains ran coupled with 200 series Yamabiko trainsets between Tokyo and Morioka, but three return workings ran coupled with newly introduced E2 series sets, running at a maximum speed of 275 km/h between Utsunomiya and Morioka, and giving a fastest journey time of 3 hours 49 minutes between Tokyo and Akita (an average speed of 163.4 km/h).
The train services proved popular, and from the December 1998 timetable revision, an addition return working was added, and the E3 series trains were lengthened to six cars each.
From the December 1999 timetable, all Komachi services ran together with E2 series Yamabiko trains, allowing overall journey times to be reduced, with a typical journey time of 4 hours 4 minutes.
From 16 March 2013, new Super Komachi (スーパーこまち) services started, using new E6 series trains running at a maximum speed of 300 km/h on the Tohoku Shinkansen. Initially, a fleet of four trains was used to operate four return services daily between Tokyo and Akita. The fastest journey time was reduced to 3 hours 45 minutes, 5 minutes than the fastest previous Komachi services. By spring 2014, all services will be operated by E6 series trains, and the name will be returned to simply Komachi. At the same time, the maximum speed on the Tohoku Shinkansen is scheduled to be further raised to 320 km/h.
- Akita Relay, a temporary limited express service that operated to Akita while the Akita Shinkansen was being constructed
- JR新幹線＆特急列車ファイル [JR Shinkansen & Limited Express Train File]. Japan: Kōtsū Shimbun. 2008. p. 16. ISBN 978-4-330-00608-6.
- JR Timetable, March 2013 issue
- Teramoto, Mitsuteru (July 2001). 国鉄・ＪＲ列車名大辞典 [JNR & JR Train Name Encyclopedia]. Tokyo: Chuoshoin Publishing Co., Ltd. p. 239. ISBN 4-88732-093-0.
- "秋田新幹線の新しい列車名は"スーパーこまち"に" [New trains on Akita Shinkansen to be named 'Super Komachi']. Japan Railfan Magazine Online (in Japanese). Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. 6 November 2012. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
- "秋田新幹線:新型列車名「スーパーこまち」に…" [New train name 'Super Komachi' for the Akita Shinkansen]. Mainichi.jp (in Japanese). Tokyo: The Mainichi Newspapers. 6 November 2012. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Komachi.|
- JR East E3 series Komachi (Japanese)