Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Leaving Japan :( Arriving Taiwan

Well, we are finally leaving Japan. Sigh...this was the official "last train" that we rode in Japan this year: the Tokyo Monorail.
We spent about half an hour at the plane observation deck on the roof. This is a JAL plane being pushed back onto the taxiways.
Yes, and this is entirely not suspicious at all.
This was our ANA 787 at Haneda Airport with the tug attached.
This was our ANA 787 at Songshan airport, sans tug.
This was the view from our Taipei hotel room. I was in heaven. You could see Line 1 MRT trains coming by every 5-10 minutes.
This post is kind of covering two days. On day two, this is a train that I have no idea about at Songshan station.
I have seen it before, and it seems to pull many luggage cars.
Anyway, these are the trains that we saw there while waiting for our Puyuma Express to Taichung.
And this is our 10th Floor view from our Taichung Hotel.
Next post will be about Neiwan.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016


At Omiya Station we have a E7 Asama coming in.

This is the E7 leaving Omiya Station.
This is a E6/E5 combination Komachi/Hayabusa that was also leaving the station.
This was our E3 Tsubasa service that we rode to Yamagata.
This was our E3 Tsubasa at Yamagata.
The E3 class is separated into two paint schemes for some inexplicable reason. The train that we rode was in the old, grey, green, light gray color scheme, but this was is in the fancier white, orange, purple scheme. Also, if you count the Toreiyu Tsubasa, that makes three different paint schemes.
At Yamagata Station they had a little statue showing the Toreiyu Tsubasa and the regular Tsubasa.
They also had the duplo version.
We visited the Yamagata Museum of Science and Industry which was actually quite nice.
Inside they had one of those pendulum things that hammered out a song every hour. This is that song.
This was the Tsubasa train that we rode back to Omiya station.
Because the Yamagata Shinkansen is officially a mini-shinkansen, which means that it runs on regular rail lines, they use bridge plates because of the wide gap between the train and the platform.
This was the interior of the train that we were riding.
The window shades had Yamagata cherries on them. Too bad they were so expensive.
This is a video that I made showing all the scenery on the line and the line between Yonezawa and Fukushima.

One thing I forgot to mention is that the scenery is some of the best I have seen from a shinkansen.

Next post will be about leaving Japan.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Usui Pass Railway Heritage Park

This is a series 651 limited express passing the station on the Utsunomiya Line tracks.
And at the Omiya shinkansen platforms, this is a Tsubasa bound for Shinjo.
This is that same E3 leaving the station.
This is a combination E6/E5 Komachi/Hayabusa departing, complete with camera glitch after two seconds.
Eventually, our E4 Max Toki arrived.

This is our E4 at Takasaki.
And our E4 departing Takasaki. Fun fact: with two E4 sets coupled together, this train alone can take 1600 people.
This is our 115 series EMU on the Shin'etsu main line.
This is that same 115 series at Yokokawa, the terminus of the line.
Which also happens to be the location of the UPRHP.
Street running!
The Usui Pass Railway Heritage Park has many exhibits, but it is mostly dedicated to their gigantic collection of EF63s that worked the former Usui Pass. The UP closed in 1997, truncating the Shin'etsu main line at Yokokawa.

This is a former Shinkansen work vehicle.
Prior to conversion to become an adhesion railway, the Usui Pass was worked by rack locomotives powered by a third rail. This is some of the original track.
Also on display were several 485 series express sets, such as this one here.
This is a EF63 on display in the covered locomotive shed.
This is another EF63.
I thought it might make a cool shot to have two EF63s framing another EF63.
This is the original EF63 that we saw earlier.
This is a work vehicle.
Attached to a ED42.
Outside, they had a DD51 on display, in the old JNR brown instead of the JR orange.
This is a snowblower...
...that was connected to a DD13 locomotive. In Hokkaido, many of these are still in service.
I think this was a KiHa 40 livestock van? It was a little hard to tell.
Inside they had pens, so...
This is some form of a KiHa that I don't know.
This is a KiHa 52 also on display.
This is a random baggage car outside.
A EF60 locomotive.
EF 13 locomotive...
A EF80.
And Japan's most famous class of steam locomotive: the D51.
The locomotives were all arranged in an outside courtyard.
This is a brown EF 63, like the one in the shed. Actually, this was the very first EF63 ever built.
This is the EF63 with another electric locomotive.
This is a EF58.
This is the same EF58 along with a EF30.
They had a passenger car that you could walk into. The first thing inside was a Western-style compartment, with sofas.
And also shoji screens.
But the rest of the train was entirely tatami!
There were two traincars, but only one of them was open to the public.
This is a EF70.
And another 485 series express train.
Another EF63.
And yet another!
The UPRHP is located in a very photogenic area. For example, this is the EF63 1 and the EF 13 with a mountain in the background.
A EF65.
On weekends the museum had little trains running for kids to ride. We went on a Monday.
They had a steam engine and a Swiss electric locomotive out in the shed for the miniature trains.
They also had some "shinkansen tunnel inspection vehicles.''
They were rubber-tired and had guide wheels.
There were two on display.
For their models in the building, they had a Narita Express (old type!)
And the Super View Odoriko in the old paint scheme.
Inside their gift shop they had a bunch of DVDs that were really cheap. Too bad our DVD player can't play Japanese dvds.

This is the 107 series EMU that took us back to Takasaki Station.
We had to wait a while before any train was empty enough for us to ride. This is a Yamabiko coming in.
This is a E4 Max Tanigawa rushing past.
Finally, our E7 Kagayaki came.

While on the train, we passed by the JR East shinkansen yard.
We got off at Ueno, and caught a Keihin-Tohoku Line train to Nippori. At Nippori we saw a Nippori-Toneri Liner.
But our real motive for coming to Nippori was for the railfan bridge.
Overlooking two Yamanote Line tracks, two Keihin-Tohoku Line tracks, two tracks for the Tohoku, Joetsu, and Hokuriku shinkansen, four for any rapids, freight trains, and specials, two for the Joban line, and an upper and lower deck of the Keisei mainline.

Well, I finally got around to making the video of all the clips that I took, so here it is.
If it doesn't work, you can find it here.
This is a reject from Disneyland Tokyo's Tiki Room.
Next post will be about visiting Yamagata on the Yamagata shinkansen.