Moonlight Nagara

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Moonlight Nagara
Jnr 185 C7-B5-9391M 20131226.jpg
A 185 series EMU formation on a Moonlight Nagara service, December 2013
Overview
Service type Rapid
Status Seasonal operation
Locale Japan
First service 16 March 1996
Current operator(s) JR East, JR Central
Route
Start Tokyo
Stops Shinagawa, Yokohama, Odawara, Numazu, Shizuoka, Hamamatsu, Toyohashi, Nagoya, Gifu
End Ōgaki
Average journey time 6:40 westbound, 6:16 eastbound
Service frequency Seasonal
Line used Tokaido Main Line
On-board services
Catering facilities None
Technical
Rolling stock 185 series EMU
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification 1,500 V DC

The Moonlight Nagara (ムーンライトながら?) is a seasonal rapid overnight train service operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East) and Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central), which runs from Tokyo to Ōgaki in Gifu Prefecture via the Tokaido Main Line. Since 2009, the service has been offered approximately three weeks per year, corresponding to the spring, summer and year-end holiday seasons.

Rolling stock[edit]

Since December 2013, Moonlight Nagara services are formed of 185 series electric multiple unit (EMU) 10-car (4+6-car) formations based at Omiya Depot.[1]

Past rolling stock[edit]

From the introduction of the Moonlight Nagara service, trains were normally formed of three three-car 373 series EMUs owned by JR Central and based at Shizuoka Depot.[2] Additional Moonlight Nagara 91 and 92 trains also operated during busy seasons, and these were formed of ten-car 183 series EMU sets owned by JR East and based at Tamachi Depot.[2]

History[edit]

The Moonlight Nagara service was introduced on 16 March 1996. The name was taken from the Nagara River in Gifu Prefecture, and was formerly used for a semi express service which ran between Tokyo and Ōgaki from 1 June 1960 until 1 October 1965.[3]

Overnight services on the Moonlight Nagara route had existed in various forms since 1899, when through services commenced between Shimbashi in Tokyo and Kobe, extending as far west as Kagoshima in the 1940s. Prior to World War II, as many as seven overnight round-trip services existed on this route.[citation needed] Rail services were cut dramatically in the wake of the war. The line briefly saw three to four daily overnight services in the late 1950s, but electrification of the line, coupled with the opening of the Tokaido Shinkansen high-speed line in 1964, reduced the need for overnight services.

Initially, cars 4 to 9 were designated as non-reserved seating cars west of Yokohama Station, but from the start of the March 2007 timetable revision, all cars were designated as reserved seating between Tokyo and Toyohashi.[2]

The service's popularity declined in the 2000s due to competition from discounted overnight bus services. From March 14, 2009, the Moonlight Nagara stopped running on a daily basis and became a seasonal train running only during busy periods.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ DJ時刻表 [DJ Timetable]. Tetsudō Daiya Jōhō Magazine (in Japanese). Vol. 43 no. 357. Japan: Kōtsū Shimbun. January 2014. pp. 100–101. 
  2. ^ a b c JR新幹線&特急列車ファイル [JR Shinkansen & Limited Express Train File]. Japan: Kotsu Shimbun. 29 August 2008. p. 138. ISBN 978-4-330-00608-6. 
  3. ^ 列車名鑑1995 [Train Name Directory 1995]. Japan: Railway Journal. 1 August 1995. p. 128. 
  4. ^ 東京発ブルトレ終焉「はやぶさ・富士」廃止へ [Hayabusa and Fuji Blue Trains from Tokyo to be abolished]. MSN Japan (in Japanese). Japan: The Sankei Shimbun & Sankei Digital. 19 December 2008. Archived from the original on 1 February 2009. Retrieved 28 January 2014.