Cassiopeia (train)

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Cassiopeia No1.JPG
Cassiopeia hauled by EF510-509, August 2010
Service type Limited express
Locale Japan
First service July 1999
Current operator(s) JR East
Start Ueno
End Sapporo
On-board services
Seating arrangements Lounge car
Sleeping arrangements Compartments and suites
Catering facilities Dining car
Observation facilities Observation lounge at end of train
Rolling stock E26 series sleeping cars
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification 1,500 V DC / 20 kV AC (50Hz)
Operating speed 110 km/h (70 mph)

The Cassiopeia (カシオペア Kashiopea?) is a luxury overnight limited express train service in Japan operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East) since July 1999. It runs between Ueno Station in Tokyo and the city of Sapporo in the northern island of Hokkaido. The one-way journey lasts approximately 16½ hours.

Northbound trains to Sapporo depart from Ueno after 16:00, and call at Ōmiya, Utsunomiya, Kōriyama, Fukushima, Sendai, Ichinoseki, and Morioka. The first stop in Hokkaido is at Hakodate at 05:00 the following day, with arrival in Sapporo around 09:30. Southbound trains to Ueno depart from Sapporo after 16:00; the first stop after leaving Hokkaido is at Sendai, around 04:30 the following day, and the arrival time at Ueno station is around 09:30.[1]

Trains depart three times per week, with more departures during holiday periods.


Cassiopeia at Utsunomiya Station, hauled by a JR East EF81 electric locomotive
Cassiopeia in Hokkaido, hauled by a pair of JR Hokkaido DD51 diesel locomotives

The Cassiopeia runs on the following rail lines:

JR East

IGR Iwate Ginga Railway

Aoimori Railway

JR East

JR Hokkaido

The train changes direction at Aomori and Hakodate.

Rolling stock[edit]

Deluxe suite car at rear of Cassiopeia train (actually being propelled empty into Ueno Station)

The train is formed of twelve E26 series sleeping cars, including a lounge car at the Sapporo end and a deluxe suite at the Ueno end. The train is hauled by a JR East Tabata-based Class EF510-500 dual-voltage electric locomotive between Ueno and Aomori, by a JR Hokkaido ED79 AC electric locomotive between Aomori and Hakodate, and by a pair of JR Hokkaido DD51 diesel locomotives between Hakodate and Sapporo.[2] Prior to June 2010, the services were hauled by JR East Class EF81 dual-voltage electric locomotives.[3]


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
SuRoNeFu E26 SuRoNe E26 MaShi E26 SuRoNe E27 SuRoNe E27 SuRoNe E27 SuRoNe E27 SuRoNe E27 SuRoNe E27 SuRoNe E27 SuRoNe E27 KaHaFu E26
Cassiopeia Suite Cassiopeia Suite / Cassiopeia Deluxe Dining car Cassiopeia Twin Cassiopeia Twin / Mini lobby Cassiopeia Twin / Shower room Cassiopeia Twin Cassiopeia Twin Cassiopeia Twin / Mini lobby Cassiopeia Twin / Shower room Cassiopeia Twin Lounge Car/ Generator

Accommodation and fares[edit]

Interior of the lounge car looking towards the locomotive

The Cassiopeia consists of all type "A" accommodation, all specific to this particular train. A flat fee is charged for all rooms, regardless of starting or ending location. Currently, accommodation rates range from about ¥27,000 for a Cassiopeia Twin room to ¥51,000 for a Cassiopeia Suite.

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. However, there will be a charge of about ¥5,500 each way for travelling on a section of railroad not owned by Japan Railways between Morioka and Aomori.


From the start of the revised timetable on 17 March 2012, smoking was banned in the restaurant car of Cassiopeia services.[4]

Withdrawal plans[edit]

Following the opening of the Hokkaido Shinkansen in March 2016, regular Cassiopeia services are scheduled to be discontinued, although the coaches may be used on cruise train services to other areas.[5]

See also[edit]


  • JR Timetable, March 2008 issue
  1. ^ "えきねっと(JR東日本)|寝台特急カシオペア>時刻表・料金表". Retrieved 2014-02-06. 
  2. ^ JR新幹線&特急列車ファイル [JR Shinkansen & Limited Express Train File]. Japan: Kōtsū Shimbun. 2008. p. 130. ISBN 978-4-330-00608-6. 
  3. ^ "EF510 500番代による〈カシオペア〉牽引開始" [Start of EF510-500 haulage for Cassiopeia services]. Hobidas (in Japanese). Neko Publishing. 25 June 2010. Retrieved 25 June 2010. 
  4. ^ 2012年3月ダイヤ改正について [March 2012 Timetable Revision] (PDF) (in Japanese). Japan: East Japan Railway Company. 16 December 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  5. ^ カシオペア廃止へ 来年3月北海道新幹線開業で、機関車使えず [Cassiopeia to be discontinued - locomotives cannot be used following opening of Hokkaido Shinkansen next March]. Sponichi Annex (in Japanese). Japan: Sports Nippon Newspapers. 14 September 2015. Retrieved 15 September 2015. 

External links[edit]