Twilight Express

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Twilight Express
WestJapanRailwayCompanyTypeEF81-1.jpg
Twilight Express hauled by an EF81 electric locomotive with headboard in the Osaka area
Overview
Service type Limited express
Status Operational
Locale Japan
First service 1989
Current operator(s) JR West
Route
Start Osaka
End Sapporo
Technical
Rolling stock 24 series sleeping cars
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification 1,500 V DC / 20 kV AC
Operating speed 110 km/h (70 mph)

The Twilight Express (トワイライトエクスプレス?) is a limited express sleeper train service operated by West Japan Railway Company (JR West) in Japan. It runs between the city of Sapporo on the northern island of Hokkaido and Osaka in south-western Honshu. The journey takes between 22 and 23 hours.

Trains for Sapporo depart Osaka at 11:50, and call at Shin-Ōsaka, Kyoto, Tsuruga, Fukui, Kanazawa, Takaoka, Toyama, Naoetsu, and Nagaoka, with the final passenger pick-up made at Niitsu at 19:39. The first stop in Hokkaido is at Tōya at 07:18. The train then makes four more stops before arriving at Sapporo at 09:52.

The same stops are made in the reverse, with the Twilight Express departing Sapporo at 14:05 and making its final pickup at Tōya at 16:33. The first stop at Niitsu is made at 04:33 with the train eventually making its way to Kyoto at 12:15 and finally arriving at Osaka at 12:52.

The Twilight Express consists of type "A" and "B" accommodations, all specific to this particular train. A flat fee is charged for all berths, regardless of starting or ending location. Currently, accommodation rates range from about ¥9,000 for a "B" single twin berth to about ¥17,000 for a "B" twin berth or an "A" royal berth, up to ¥51,000 for the suite berth.

The other fares, the basic fare and limited express fare, are based on distance. For tourists using the Japan Rail Pass, the basic fare does not have to be paid, although the limited express fare and room fare must be paid.

Trains depart several times per week, with more departures during holiday periods. The Nihonkai train makes daily round-trip runs between Osaka and Aomori, with ongoing connections to Sapporo.

Route[edit]

The Twilight Express runs on the following rail lines:

West Japan Railway Company (JR West)

East Japan Railway Company (JR East)

Hokkaido Railway Company (JR Hokkaido)

1Train reversal point
2Crew change location for conductors (JR West and JR Hokkaido)

The Tsugaru Kaikyō Line runs over the tracks of the Tsugaru Line, Kaikyō Line, Esashi Line and Hakodate Main Line.

Locomotives[edit]

Twilight Express hauled by two Class DD51 diesel locomotives in Hokkaidō

Three types of locomotives are used to haul the Twilight Express service:

Timetable (as of March 2011)[edit]

  • For the Osaka departure to Sapporo, read down. For the Sapporo departure to Osaka, read up.
  • Stations that are not used for passenger pick-up or drop-off are in italics.
Down Station name Up

Dp 11:50
(Track 10)

Osaka

Ar 12:52
(Track 3)

Ar 11:55
(Track 12)
Dp 11:56

Shin-Ōsaka

Dp 12:48
(Track 17)
Ar 12:47

Ar 12:24
(Track 0)
Dp 12:25

Kyoto

Dp 12:18
(Track 7)
Ar 12:15

Ar 13:46
Dp 13:48

Tsuruga

Dp 10:52
Ar 10:36

Ar 14:40
(Track 1)
Dp 14:40

Fukui

Dp 09:56
(Track 5)
Ar 09:54

Ar 15:37
(Track 7)
Dp 15:40

Kanazawa

Dp 08:51
(Track 1)
Ar 08:49

Ar 16:14
Dp 16:14

Takaoka

Dp 08:18
Ar 08:18

Ar 16:30
(Track 6)
Dp 16:31

Toyama

Dp 08:03
(Track 3)
Ar 08:01

17:28

Itoigawa

06:58

Ar 17:57
Dp 17:59

Naoetsu

Dp 06:27
Ar 06:25

Ar 18:56
Dp 18:58

Nagaoka

Dp 05:29
Ar 05:17

Ar 19:37
Dp 19:39

Niitsu

Dp 04:40
Ar 04:33

20:14

Nakajō

20:41

Echigo-Hayakawa

3:29

21:50

Fujishima

22:07

Sakata

2:04

23:51

Akita

0:34

1:24

Ōdate

23:04

2:05

Hirosaki

22:27

Tsugaru-Shinjō

21:56

Aomori Signal Station
(near Aomori Station)
Train reversal point

3:19

Kanita
Crew change station for conductors
JR West <> JR Hokkaido

20:38


Enter 3:41
Exit 4:20
Seikan Tunnel
Exit 20:17
Enter 19:41

5:05

Goryōkaku
Train reversal point

18:43

Oshamambe

17:05

Ar 07:18
Dp 07:18

Tōya

Dp 16:33
Ar 16:23

Ar 07:52
Dp 07:54

Higashi-Muroran

Dp 15:50
Ar 15:48

Ar 08:11
Dp 08:12

Noboribetsu

Dp 15:34
Ar 15:33

Ar 08:50
Dp 08:50

Tomakomai

Dp 15:00
Ar 14:59

Ar 09:10
Dp 09:11

Minami-Chitose

Dp 14:39
Ar 14:39


Ar 09:52
(Track 3)

Sapporo


Dp 14:05
(Track 4)

Down Station name Up

Withdrawal plans[edit]

Following the opening of the Hokkaido Shinkansen, Twilight Express services are expected to be discontinued from spring 2016.[1]

References[edit]

  • JR新幹線&特急列車ファイル (JR Shinkansen & Limited Express Train File). Japan: Kōtsū Shimbun. 2008. p. 126. ISBN 978-4-330-00608-6. 
  1. ^ Saito, Masatoshi (7 November 2013). "ブルートレイン:廃止へ…JR3社、北海道新幹線開業で" [Blue Trains to be scrapped by 3 JR companies - with opening of Hokkaido Shinkansen]. Mainichi.jp (in Japanese). Japan: The Mainichi Newspapers. Retrieved 7 November 2013. 

External links[edit]