Hitachi (Japanese train)

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Hitachi
JR East E657.jpg
E657 series EMU
Overview
Service typeLimited express
LocaleJapan
First service1963 (the original Hitachi)
1989 (Super Hitachi)
1997 (Fresh Hitachi)
2015 (the new Hitachi)
Last service1998 (the original Hitachi)
2015 (Super Hitachi)
2015 (Fresh Hitachi)
Current operator(s)JR East
Former operator(s)JNR
Route
StartShinagawa/Ueno
EndIwaki
Line(s) usedJōban Line, Tōhoku Main Line, Tōkaidō Main Line
On-board services
Class(es)Green + Standard
Catering facilitiesTrolley service
Technical
Rolling stockE657 series
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification1,500 V DC / 20 kV AC 50 Hz
Operating speed130 km/h (80 mph)

Hitachi (ひたち) is a limited express train service operated in Japan by East Japan Railway Company (JR East) on the Jōban Line between Shinagawa Station / Ueno Station in Tokyo and Iwaki in Fukushima Prefecture. The Tokiwa service follows the same route but makes additional stops.

History[edit]

The Hitachi (ひたち) name was taken from the former Hitachi Province (常陸), which is now part of the Ibaraki Prefecture.

The service was first introduced on 1 October 1963 for a semi-express service which operated daily between Ueno and Taira (present-day Iwaki) using 451 series EMU stock, will all cars reserved.[1] This service operated until 30 September 1967.

The name was subsequently reintroduced on 1 October 1969 for a once-daily seasonal limited-express service operating between Ueno and Iwaki using 7-car KiHa 81 series diesel multiple units.[1] This became a regular daily service the following year.[2]

485 series EMUs were phased in from 2 October 1972, and were used until services were discontinued in December 1998. From 1 April 1973, one return service daily was extended to operate between Ueno and Sendai. From 1 October of the same year, the number of services to and from Sendai was increased to six return services. From 2 October 1978, this number was increased to 11 return services daily, to 12 from 15 November 1982, to 23 from 14 March 1985 with the discontinuation of the Tokiwa express, and to 26 return services daily from 1 November 1986.[2]

During the 1990s, services were operated using Katsuta-based seven-car 485 series formations with no Green car accommodation. Fourteen-car formations were sometimes used.[3]

The original Hitachi was discontinued from December 1998 with the withdrawal of the last 485 series electric multiple units (EMUs) on the Jōban Line, with the main daytime limited express services subsequently being named Super Hitachi and Fresh Hitachi.[2]

From the start of the 14 March 2015 timetable revision, Super Hitachi services were renamed simply Hitachi, and Fresh Hitachi services were renamed Tokiwa. From the same date, services were extended south of Ueno via the new Ueno-Tokyo Line, with most services terminating at Shinagawa Station.[4]

Hitachi[edit]

Currently, the Hitachi operates from Shinagawa / Ueno to Iwaki, as the faster limited express service compared to the Tokiwa. Hitachi services are numbered from No. 1 to No. 30.

Northbound services depart Ueno at hourly intervals from 7am to 10pm. Only the 8am and 9am Hitachi originate from Ueno, others originate at Shinagawa. Services originating from Shinagawa depart there at the 45th minute of every hour, starting from 6:45am to 9:45pm, except 7:45am and 8:45am, when there would be no trains originating from Shinagawa.

Approximate time required between major stations (Hitachi)

  • Ueno – Tsuchiura: Southbound 41-57 min; Northbound 38-49 min (66.0 km)
  • Ueno – Mito: Southbound 1 hr 8-29 min; Northbound 1 hr 5-18 min (117.5 km)
  • Ueno – Iwaki: Southbound 2 hr 12-42 min; Northbound 2 hr 7-24 min (211.6 km)
  • Shinagawa – Iwaki: Southbound 2 hr 28 min - 3 hr; Northbound 2 hr 22-35 min (222.0 km)

Stations served[edit]

Legend

  • ●:All trains stop
  • ○:Most trains stop
  • △:Most trains pass
  • :All trains pass
Stations Hitachi
7 northbound trains/

8 southbound trains

(1 northbound train originating from Ueno)

8 northbound trains/

7 southbound trains

(1 northbound train originating from Ueno)

Shinagawa 品川
Tokyo 東京
Ueno 上野
Kashiwa
Tsuchiura 土浦
Mito 水戸
Katsuta 勝田
Tōkai 東海
Ōmika 大甕
Hitachi-Taga 常陸多賀
Hitachi 日立
Takahagi 高萩
Isohara 磯原
Nakoso 勿来
Izumi
Yumoto 湯本
Iwaki いわき

Notes

  • The Hitachi, in principle, operates directly between Ueno and Mito without stopping, though there are some trains stopping at Kashiwa and Tsuchiura.
  • Trains stop at stations where there are tourist spots or where events are held, during certain days of the year:
    • Tsuchiura: Tsuchiura All Japan Fireworks Competition
    • Hitachino-Ushiku: Samantha Thavasa Girls Collection Ladies Tournament
    • Ishioka: Hyakuri Air Base Aviation Festival
    • Tomobe: (for golfers to neighbouring golf clubs)
  • Trains stop at Kairakuen during the plum blossom season opening in Kairaku-en (The park opens on weekends and holidays from 9am to 3:10pm, during late February to late March)

Past services[edit]

In the past, there were 2 limited express services that also bear the name Hitachi.

Super Hitachi[edit]

The Super Hitachi (スーパーひたち) was introduced on 11 March 1989, operating between Ueno and Iwaki or Sendai, using new 651 series EMUs.[2] It operated at a maximum speed of 130 km/h.[5] Services are generally formed of 7-car or 7+4-car formations, with only the 4-car sets continuing north of Iwaki.[6] It served as the faster limited express compared to the Fresh Hitachi (see below).

Trains operating between Iwaki and Sendai had discontinued, due to the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, which caused severe damages at parts of the section. From that point on, Super Hitachi services only operated between Ueno and Iwaki.

From the start of the revised timetable on 17 March 2012, new E657 series EMUs were phased in on some Super Hitachi services,[7] and entirely replaced the 651 series trains by the start of the revised timetable on 16 March 2013.

By the start of another timetable revision on 14 March 2015, Super Hitachi services have been renamed as the Hitachi, ending the Super Hitachi's 26-year service.

Fresh Hitachi[edit]

The Fresh Hitachi (フレッシュひたち) was introduced on 1 October 1997 between Ueno and Iwaki, using new E653 series EMUs.[2] It operated at a maximum speed of 130 km/h. Services were initially formed of 7-car, 7+4-car, or 7+7-car E653 EMUs, as well as 7-car or 7+4-car 651 series EMUs.[5] It served as the slower limited express compared to the Super Hitachi.

From the start of the revised timetable on 17 March 2012, new 10-car E657 series EMUs were introduced on Fresh Hitachi services, operating alongside existing 651 series and E653 series sets,[7] and as of 16 March 2013, all services are operated using E657 series EMUs. During the period between 1 October 2013 and around March 2015, however, one up and one down Fresh Hitachi service daily will be operated by an 11-car 651 series formation covering while the E657 series fleet undergoes modification work to add LED seat reservation status indicators above each seat.[8]

By the start of another timetable revision on 14 March 2015, Fresh Hitachi services have been renamed as the Tokiwa, ending the Fresh Hitachi's 18-year service.

Rolling stock[edit]

E657 series EMU, July 2011

As of 16 March 2013, all services are operated by E657 series 10-car EMUs, first introduced from March 2012, although 11-car 651 series formations will be substituted on some services between 1 October 2013 and March 2015.[8]

Past rolling stock[edit]

  • 451 series EMUs (Hitachi, October 1963 - 30 September 1967)
  • KiHa 81 series DMUs (Hitachi, October 1963 - ?)
  • 485 series EMUs (Hitachi, 2 October 1972 - December 1998)
  • 651 series 4/7/11-car EMUs (Super Hitachi, Fresh Hitachi 11 March 1989 - 15 March 2013)
  • E653 series 7/11/14-car EMUs (Fresh Hitachi since 1 October 1997 - 15 March 2013)

Formations[edit]

Trains are formed as shown below, with car 1 at the Ueno end. All cars are no smoking.[9]

Hitachi[edit]

E657 series (10 cars)
Car No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Accommodation Reserved Reserved Reserved Reserved Green Reserved Reserved Reserved Reserved Reserved

Past formations[edit]

Super Hitachi (Prior to 13 March 2015)[edit]

E657 series (10 cars)
Car No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Accommodation Reserved Reserved Reserved Reserved Green Reserved Reserved Non-reserved Non-reserved Non-reserved
651 series (7+4 cars)
Car No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Accommodation Reserved Reserved Reserved Green Reserved Non-reserved Non-reserved Non-reserved Non-reserved Reserved Reserved
Set Basic set Additional set

Fresh Hitachi (Prior to 13 March 2015)[edit]

E657 series (10 cars)
Car No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Accommodation Reserved Reserved Reserved Reserved Green Reserved Non-reserved Non-reserved Non-reserved Non-reserved
651 series (7+4 cars)
Car No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Accommodation Reserved Reserved Reserved Green Non-reserved Non-reserved Non-reserved Non-reserved Non-reserved Reserved Reserved
Set Basic set Additional set
E653 series (7+4 cars)
Car No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Accommodation Reserved Reserved Reserved Reserved Non-reserved Non-reserved Non-reserved Non-reserved Non-reserved Reserved Reserved
Set Basic set Additional set
E653 series (7+7 cars)
Car No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Accommodation Reserved Reserved Reserved Reserved Non-reserved Non-reserved Non-reserved Non-reserved Non-reserved Non-reserved Non-reserved Reserved Reserved Reserved
Set Basic set Basic set

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Ikeguchi, Eiji (February 2013). "JR東日本651系・E653系 常磐線特急の足跡" [JR East 651/E653 series - History of Joban Line Limited Expresses]. Tetsudō Daiya Jōhō Magazine (in Japanese). Vol. 42 no. 346. Japan: Kōtsū Shimbun. pp. 64–69.
  2. ^ a b c d e Haraguchi, Takayuki (2009). Encyclopedia of JR's Railway Cars: JR全車輌. Japan: Sekai Bunka. p. 218. ISBN 978-4-418-09905-4.
  3. ^ 列車名鑑1995 [Train Name Directory 1995]. Japan: Railway Journal. August 1995.
  4. ^ 「上野東京ライン」開業により、 南北の大動脈が動き出します [North-south artery comes into operation with opening of Ueno-Tokyo Line] (PDF). News release (in Japanese). Japan: East Japan Railway Company. 30 October 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  5. ^ a b 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.
  6. ^ JR Timetable, December 2008 issue
  7. ^ a b 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.
  8. ^ a b 常磐線特急ひたち号の編成変更について [Changes to Joban Line Hitachi limited express formations] (PDF). News Release (in Japanese). Japan: East Japan Railway Company - Mito Division. 8 August 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 September 2013. Retrieved 8 August 2013.
  9. ^ JR Timetable, March 2013 issue, P.996

External links[edit]