KiHa 283 series DMU on a Super Ōzora service, January 2007
|Service type||Limited express|
|First service||1961 (Ōzora)
1997 (Super Ōzora)
|Current operator(s)||JR Hokkaido|
|Average journey time||3 hours 35 minutes|
|Service frequency||7 return services daily|
|Rolling stock||KiHa 283 series DMU|
|Track gauge||1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)|
|Operating speed||130 km/h (81 mph)|
The Super Ōzora (スーパーおおぞら?) is a limited express train service between Sapporo and Kushiro in Hokkaido, Japan, operated by Hokkaido Railway Company (JR Hokkaido). There are seven trains per day running in both directions, with the fastest journeys taking 3 hours 35 minutes.
The service commenced as the limited express Ōzora (おおぞら?) on 1 October 1961, operating between Hakodate and Asahikawa using KiHa 80 series DMUs with one return working daily. The service was extended to run between Hakodate and Kushiro from 1967. By 1973, there were three return workings daily. In October 1980, following the opening of New Chitose Airport, services were reorganized, with just one return working daily between Sapporo and Kushiro. From October 1981, the train was rerouted via the Sekishō Line, reducing journey times by approximately one hour. From 22 March 1997, four Ōzora services were upgraded to become Super Ōzora following the introduction of new KiHa 283 series tilting DMUs. The remaining Ōzora services using KiHa 183 series DMUs were phased out by 2001.
- KiHa 80 series DMUs
- KiHa 183 series DMUs (1980–2001)
- KiHa 283 series Tilting DMUs (Super Ōzora from 1997)
2011 derailment and fire
On 27 May 2011, the Super Ōzora 14 service from Kushiro to Sapporo was brought to an emergency stop inside the 685 metre-long No. 1 Niniu Tunnel in Shimukappu, Hokkaidō, at around 21:55 after car number 2 of the 6-car formation became derailed. The train caught fire, and all of the 245 people on board, including train staff eventually evacuated the train. 39 were treated for smoke inhalation and minor burn injuries. The burnt-out train was removed from the tunnel on 29 May 2011.
- 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.
- 列車名鑑1995 (Train Name Directory 1995). Japan: Railway Journal. August 1995.
- 占冠のトンネル内でＪＲ特急車両から白煙 39人軽いけが [39 affected by smoke on JR express inside Shimukappu tunnel]. Doshin Web (in Japanese). Japan: The Hokkaido Shimbun Press. 28 May 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
- 脱線火災の特急スーパーおおぞら、トンネル外に ＪＲ石勝線 [JR Sekisho Line: derailed Super Ōzora express moved out of tunnel]. Doshin Web (in Japanese). Japan: The Hokkaido Shimbun Press. 29 May 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
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