A White Sonic 885 series EMU
|Service type||Limited express|
|Current operator(s)||JR Kyushu|
|Line used||Kagoshima Main Line, Nippō Main Line|
|Rolling stock||883 series, 885 series EMUs|
|Operating speed||130 km/h (80 mph)|
Sonic (ソニック sonikku?) is the name used by Kyushu Railway Company (JR Kyushu) for the limited express train service operating between Hakata and Ōita via Kokura and Beppu along the Kagoshima Main Line and Nippō Main Line in Kyushu, Japan. It runs every 30 minutes at a speed of 130 km/h (80 mph) - with a journey time of approximately 2 hours.
Services are operated by a fleet of eight 7-car 883 series electric multiple unit (EMU) trains and four 6-car 885 series White Sonic EMUs.
- 20 April 1995: New 883 series Sonic EMUs are introduced on Nichirin limited express services between Hakata and Ōita, and named Sonic Nichirin.
- 22 March 1997: Nichirin and Sonic Nichirin services are combined to become Sonic services operated entirely by 883 series EMUs.
- 3 March 2001: New 5-car 885 series White Sonic are introduced on Sonic services.
- 15 March 2003: 885 series White Sonic sets lengthened from 5 to 6 cars, allowing interchangeability with 885 series White Kamome sets.
- 18 March 2007: All cars are made no-smoking.
- 19 July 2008: The three 5-car 883 series sets are augmented to 7 cars.
- "JR Timetable" March 2008 issue