Hayabusa (train)

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JRE-TEC-E5 omiya.JPG
E5 series shinkansen on a Hayabusa service, March 2011
Service type Shinkansen
Locale Honshu, Japan
First service 1 October 1958 (Limited express)
5 March 2011 (Shinkansen)
Current operator(s) JR East
Former operator(s) JNR
Start Tokyo
End Shin-Aomori
Distance travelled 674.9 km (419.4 mi)
Service frequency 3 return trips daily
Line used Tohoku Shinkansen
On-board services
Class(es) Standard + Green + Gran Class
Catering facilities Trolley service
Rolling stock E5 series
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Electrification 25 kV AC overhead
Operating speed 320 km/h (200 mph)

The Hayabusa (はやぶさ?, literally Peregrine Falcon) is a high-speed Shinkansen service operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East) between Tokyo and Shin-Aomori in Japan since 5 March 2011.[1] The name was formerly used for a limited express sleeping car service operated by JR Kyushu, which ran from Tokyo to Kumamoto, and was discontinued in March 2009.

Service pattern[edit]

From the start of the new timetable on 5 March 2011, there were initially three services in each direction daily, which had increased to ten services in each direction daily by October 2013, stopping at the following stations.[2]

(*) Not served by all trains

The fastest service from Tokyo to Shin-Aomori takes 2 hours and 59 minutes.[2]

Train formation[edit]

Hayabusa services are normally operated by 10-car E5 series trainsets,[1] with car 1 at the Tokyo end. All seats are reserved and no-smoking.[2]

Car No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Class Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard Green car Gran Class
Facilities     Cardphone   Cardphone/
Wheelchair space
      Wheelchair space  

Hayabusa trains feature premium GranClass accommodation with 2+1 leather seating and complimentary food and drinks, including alcohol.[3]


Sleeping car service (1958–2009)[edit]

Combined Fuji/Hayabusa service hauled by an EF66 locomotive, March 2009

The Hayabusa service commenced on 1 October 1958, operating between Tokyo and Kagoshima.[4] From 20 July 1960, the train was upgraded with 20 series sleeping cars, and extended to run to and from Nishi-Kagoshima (now Kagoshima-Chūō).[4] From 9 March 1975, the train was upgraded with 24 series sleeping cars.[4]

Dining car service was discontinued from March 1993.[5]

From 4 December 1999, the Hayabusa was combined with the Sakura service between Tokyo and Tosu.[6]

From 1 March 2005, the Hayabusa was combined with the Fuji service between Tokyo and Moji, following the discontinuation of the Sakura service which previously operated in conjunction with the Hayabusa.

The final Hayabusa and Fuji service after arriving at Tokyo Station, 14 March 2009

Finally, due to declining ridership, the Hayabusa, along with its counterpart service, the Fuji, was discontinued from the start of the revised timetable on 14 March 2009.[5]

Shinkansen service (2011–)[edit]

From 5 March 2011, the Hayabusa name was revived for the new 300 km/h shinkansen services operated by JR East between Tokyo and Shin-Aomori using new E5 series trainsets.[1]

Rolling stock[edit]

Sleeping car service[edit]

In its final days, the limited express train was formed of 14 series sleeping cars based at JR Kyushu's Kumamoto Depot, typically consisting of six cars in the Hayabusa portion and six cars in the Fuji portion. The train was hauled by a JR West EF66 electric locomotive between Tokyo and Shimonoseki, a JR Kyushu EF81-400 electric locomotive between Shimonoseki and Moji (through the undersea Kanmon Tunnel), and by a JR Kyushu ED76 electric locomotive from Moji to Kumamoto.[7]

Locomotive types used[edit]

  • EF60-500 (Tokyo - Shimonoseki, from 29 December 1963)[4]
  • EF65-500 (Tokyo - Shimonoseki, from 1 October 1965)[4]
  • EF65-1000 (Tokyo - Shimonoseki, from July 1978)[4]
  • EF66 (Tokyo - Shimonoseki, from 14 March 1985)[4]

Shinkansen service[edit]

The new shinkansen Hayabusa services use 10-car E5 series sets, which initially operated at a maximum speed of 300 km/h between Utsunomiya and Morioka.[1] The maximum speed was raised to 320 km/h from the start of the revised timetable on 16 March 2013.[8] From the same date, some services run coupled to E6 series Super Komachi services between Tokyo and Morioka. These services were limited to a maximum speed of 300 km/h.[8] Since 15 March 2014, the name of Super Komachi services was returned simply to Komachi, and the maximum speed has been raised to 320 km/h; from the same date, some Hayabusa services are operated by 10-car E5 series sets coupled to 7-car E6 series sets.

Future developments[edit]

From 26 March 2016, with the opening of the Hokkaido Shinkansen from Shin-Aomori to Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto, the Hayabusa name will be used for services operating between Tokyo, Sendai, and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto.[9] From the start of the 26 March 2016 timetable revision, ten return services will operate daily between Tokyo and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto, and one return service daily will operate between Shin-Aomori and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d 東北新幹線 「はやぶさ」 3月5日 デビュー! [Tohoku Shinkansen "Hayabusa" 5 March debut] (PDF) (in Japanese). JR East. 11 November 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c JR Timetable, October 2013 issue. p.62-75
  3. ^ "Japan Rail Pass - Use Japan Rail Pass on Hayabusa". Jrpass.com. Retrieved 2015-07-31. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g さらば九州ブルートレイン [Farewell Kyushu Blue Trains]. Tokyo: Ikaros Publications Ltd. April 2009. p. 99. ISBN 978-4-86320-168-2. 
  5. ^ a b "寝台特急"富士"・"はやぶさ"ものがたり " [The Story of the "Fuji" and "Hayabusa" Sleeping Car Limited Expresses]. Railfan Magazine 49 (575): p.22–35. March 2009. 
  6. ^ 列車名鑑1995 [Train Name Directory 1995]. Japan: Railway Journal. August 1995. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ a b "320-kph Hayabusa matches world speed record". The Japan Times. Japan: The Japan Times Ltd. 17 March 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2013. 
  9. ^ 北海道新幹線の列車名決定について [Details of Hokkaido Shinkansen train names] (PDF). News release (in Japanese). Japan: Hokkaido Railway Company. 20 November 2014. Retrieved 20 November 2014. 
  10. ^ 北海道新幹線 新青森~新函館北斗間開業に伴う運行計画の概要について [Details of operations following opening of Hokkaido Shinkansen between Sendai and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto] (PDF). News release (in Japanese). Japan: East Japan Railway Company. 16 September 2015. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 

External links[edit]