Akita Relay

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Akita Relay
KiHa110-300 Akita Relay Akita 19970101.jpg
KiHa 110-300 series DMU on an Akita Relay service at Akita Station, January 1997
Service type Limited express
Status Discontinued
Locale Tohoku region, Japan
Predecessor Tazawa
First service 30 March 1996
Last service 21 March 1997
Successor Komachi
Former operator(s) JR East
Start Tokyo
End Akita
Line used Kitakami Line, Ōu Main Line
On-board services
Class(es) Standard class only
Rolling stock KiHa 110-300 series DMU
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Operating speed 100 km/h (60 mph)[1]

The Akita Relay (秋田リレー) was a limited express train service operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East) in Japan between March 1996 and March 1997.[2]

Engineering work to convert the Tazawako Line between Morioka and Ōmagari from 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) narrow gauge to 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge for use by Akita Shinkansen services entailed the complete closure of the line between March 1996 and March 1997. The Tazawa limited express services that previously linked Morioka with Akita and Aomori were curtailed to run between Akita and Aomori only, and temporary Akita Relay limited express diesel services were operated instead between Kitakami on the Tōhoku Shinkansen and Akita via the Kitakami Line and Ōu Main Line.[2]

Services commenced on 30 March 1996, with 10 "down" services and 11 "up" services operating daily using a specially built fleet of KiHa 110-300 series DMUs mostly in 4-car formations, but with some 3- or 7-car formations.[1] These trains featured 2+2 abreast unidirectional limited express style seating identical to the seating used in E217 series EMU Green cars.[3]

The Akita Relay services ended on 21 March 1997, the day before Akita Shinkansen Komachi services commenced between Morioka and Akita.[2] The KiHa 110-300 series DMUs were subsequently refitted with standard seating, renumbered as KiHa 110-200 series, and reassigned for use on other lines such as the Iiyama Line.[3]


4-car Akita Relay formation at Kitakami Station, February 1997

Down (Kitakami → Akita)[edit]

Service Train No. From Depart To Arrive
Akita Relay 1 3001D Kitakami 09:26 Akita 11:31
Akita Relay 3 3003D Kitakami 10:22 Akita 12:35
Akita Relay 5 3005D Kitakami 11:24 Akita 13:38
Akita Relay 7 3007D Kitakami 13:12 Akita 15:18
Akita Relay 9 3009D Kitakami 14:18 Akita 16:46
Akita Relay 11 3011D Kitakami 15:20 Akita 17:42
Akita Relay 13 3013D Kitakami 16:17 Akita 18:35
Akita Relay 15 3015D Kitakami 17:15 Akita 19:31
Akita Relay 17 3017D Kitakami 18:57 Akita 21:10
Akita Relay 19 3019D Kitakami 20:21 Akita 22:14

Up (Akita → Kitakami)[edit]

Service Train No. From Depart To Arrive
Akita Relay 2 3002D Akita 07:10 Kitakami 09:03
Akita Relay 4 3004D Akita 08:04 Kitakami 10:05
Akita Relay 6 3006D Akita 08:55 Kitakami 11:00
Akita Relay 8 3008D Akita 10:04 Kitakami 12:06
Akita Relay 10 3010D Akita 11:50 Kitakami 13:58
Akita Relay 12 3012D Akita 12:51 Kitakami 14:58
Akita Relay 14 3014D Akita 13:56 Kitakami 16:01
Akita Relay 16 3016D Akita 14:48 Kitakami 16:57
Akita Relay 18 3018D Akita 15:59 Kitakami 18:06
Akita Relay 20 3020D Akita 17:00 Kitakami 19:14
Akita Relay 22 3022D Akita 17:53 Kitakami 20:05


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b JR特急10年の歩み [10 Years of JR Limited Express Trains]. Japan: Kousai Shuppansha. May 1997. p. 131. ISBN 4-330-45697-4. 
  2. ^ a b c Yamanouchi, Shūichirō (2002). 東北・上越新幹線 [Tōhoku & Jōetsu Shinkansen]. Tokyo, Japan: JTB Can Books. ISBN 4-533-04513-8. 
  3. ^ a b JR全車輛ハンドブック1997 [JR Rolling Stock Handbook 1997]. Japan: Neko Publishing. 1997. 
  4. ^ "新幹線開業前夜" [The Eve of Shinkansen Openings]. Japan Railfan Magazine. Vol. 50 no. 590. Japan: Koyusha. June 2010. p. 35.