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485 series EMU on a Kubikino rapid service, March 2007
Service typeRapid
LocaleShinetsu Main Line
First service1 December 2002
Last service13 March 2015
Former operator(s)JR East
Service frequency3 return services daily
On-board services
Class(es)Green + Standard
Rolling stock485 series EMUs
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification1,500 V DC overhead
Operating speed120 km/h (75 mph)

The Kubikino (くびき野) was a "Rapid" limited-stop train service in Japan operated by the East Japan Railway Company (JR East) between Niigata and Arai on the Shinetsu Main Line in Niigata Prefecture from 2002 until March 2015.[1]

Service pattern[edit]

Services consisted of three trains in each direction daily.[1][2]

Rolling stock[edit]

Services were formed of 6-car 485 series EMUs, which included Green car (first class) accommodation. Niigata-based sets T16 and T17 were normally allocated to Kubikino duties, as these two sets did not receive the Green car seat refurbishment applied to other 485 sets used on Inaho limited express services in 2007.[1][3]


Trains were formed as shown below, with car 1 at the Arai end.[1][4]

Car No. 1 2 3 4 5 6
Numbering KuRoHa 481 MoHa 484 MoHa 485 MoHa 484 MoHa 485 KuHa 481
Accommodation Green Reserved Non-reserved Non-reserved Non-reserved Non-reserved Non-reserved


The Kubikino services commenced from the start of the revised timetable on 1 December 2002, replacing the previous Minori limited express services.[1] 4-car 485 series were initially used on these services, but 6-car Inaho 485 series sets were used from 20 May 2006 to relieve overcrowding.[1]

A predecessor to the Kubikino rapid service, the Kubiki (くびき), operated as a semi-express between Niigata and Arai from 1 October 1963, and as an express service from 5 March 1966, before being absorbed into Yoneyama (よねやま) semi-express services operating between Nagano and Niigata from 30 September 1968.[5][6]

Kubikino services were discontinued from the start of the revised timetable on 14 March 2015, coinciding with the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen extension from Nagano to Kanazawa. Services were replaced by new Shirayuki limited express services operating between Niigata and Arai.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f JR新幹線&特急列車ファイル [JR Shinkansen & Limited Express Train File]. Japan: Kōtsū Shimbun. 2008. p. 140. ISBN 978-4-330-00608-6.
  2. ^ JR Timetable, August 2011 issue, p.570-579
  3. ^ "越後路をめぐる国鉄型車両の現況" [The Current State of JNR Rolling Stock on Echigo Routes]. Tetsudō Daiya Jōhō Magazine. Vol. 40 no. 330. Japan: Kōtsū Shimbun. October 2011. pp. 12–23.
  4. ^ JR電車編成表 2012冬 [JR EMU Formations - Winter 2012]. Japan: Kotsu Shimbunsha. October 2011. p. 35. ISBN 978-4-330-25611-5.
  5. ^ 列車名鑑1995 [Train Name Directory 1995]. Japan: Railway Journal. August 1995. p. 125.
  6. ^ Teramoto, Mitsuteru (July 2001). 国鉄・JR列車名大辞典 [JNR & JR Train Name Encyclopedia]. Tokyo, Japan: Chuoshoin Publishing Co., Ltd. pp. 215–216. ISBN 4-88732-093-0.
  7. ^ 北陸新幹線 長野~金沢間開業に伴う運行計画の概要について [Outline of service plans for opening of Hokuriku Shinkansen from Nagano to Kanazawa] (PDF). News release (in Japanese). Japan: JR East & JR West. 27 August 2014. Retrieved 28 August 2014.