An E751 series EMU on a Tsugaru service in June 2006
|Service type||Limited express|
2002 (Limited express)
|Current operator(s)||JR East|
|Service frequency||4 return services daily|
Tohoku Main Line|
Ou Main Line
|Class(es)||Green + Standard|
|Rolling stock||E751 series EMUs|
|Track gauge||1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)|
|Electrification||20 kV AC (60 Hz) overhead|
|Operating speed||130 km/h (80 mph)|
The Tsugaru (つがる) is a limited express train service in Japan operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East), which runs from Aomori to Hirosaki and Akita via the Tōhoku Main Line and Ōu Main Line.
Services are normally formed of 4-car E751 series electric multiple units (EMUs) based at Aomori depot, with Aomori-based 4-car 485-3000 series EMUs also used on some additional services during busy seasons.
The Tsugaru (津軽) was first introduced on 1 October 1954 as an express service operating between Ueno in Tokyo and Aomori via Niitsu and Akita. From 19 November 1956, the train was rerouted to run via Fukushima and Akita. This service was discontinued from the start of the revised timetable on 1 December 1993.
The Tsugaru name was revived from 1 December 2002 as a limited express service operating between Hachinohe and Hirosaki, superseding the former Hatsukari limited express service which ran between Morioka and Aomori up until the opening of the Tōhoku Shinkansen extension to Hachinohe. Services were formed of 6-car 485-3000 series and E751 series EMUs based at Aomori depot, with JR Hokkaido 789 series EMUs used on some services.
From 4 December 2010, with the opening of the Tōhoku Shinkansen extension from Hachinohe to Shin-Aomori, the Tsugaru services were rerouted to operate between Aomori and Akita, replacing the Kamoshika and Inaho services that previously ran on this route. From this date, services were formed of shortened 4-car 485-3000 series EMUs, with the E751 series EMUs temporarily removed from service.
From 23 April 2011, the E751 series sets were reinstated on Tsugaru services, this time formed as 4-car sets, replacing the 485-3000 series sets.
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