Hikari (train): Wikis

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Hikari
JRW-700-hikari-railstar.jpg
Shinkansen 700 Series Hikari Rail Star, April 2009
Service type Shinkansen
Operator JR Central, JR West
Line used Tōkaidō Shinkansen, Sanyō Shinkansen
Maximum speed 270 km/h (Tōkaidō)
300 km/h (Sanyō)[1]
Started 1958 (Express)
1964 (Shinkansen)
Rolling stock 300/700/N700 series

Hikari (ひかり ?) is the name of a high-speed train service running on the Tōkaidō and Sanyō Shinkansen "bullet train" lines in Japan. Slower than the Nozomi but faster than the Kodama, the Hikari is the fastest train service on the Tōkaidō and Sanyō Shinkansen that is covered in the Japan Rail Pass. The word hikari means "light" in Japanese.

Contents

History

Before and during World War II, Hikari was the name of an express train operated by Japan from Busan in Korea to Changchun in Manchuria.

The name Hikari was first introduced in Japan on 25 April 1958 for express services operating between Hakata and Beppu in Kyushu. This service operated until 30 September 1964, the day before the Tōkaidō Shinkansen opened.[2]

When the Tōkaidō Shinkansen opened on 1 October 1964, the Hikari was the fastest train on the line, initially travelling from Tokyo Station to Shin-Ōsaka Station with only two stops (Nagoya and Kyōto). Hikari service was extended to the Sanyō Shinkansen later, although the Hikari trains were only slightly faster than the Kodama trains, earning them the derisive nickname "Hidama."

JR West 300 series on Hikari service, October 2008

As of 2008, JR Central Hikari services, which operate throughout the Tōkaidō/Sanyō corridor, use 16-car 700 Series and 300 series trains. Most Hikari trains pull over at intermediate stations such as Shizuoka, Maibara or Himeji to allow faster services, mainly Nozomi trains, to pass through at top speed.

In March 2008, the new N700 Series Shinkansen was put into service on a morning Hikari service between Shin-Yokohama and Hiroshima stations, and a late night run between Tokyo and Nagoya. A third N700 Hikari run between Nagoya and Tokyo was added in October 2008[3], and a few other N700 Hikari runs have since been added.

Service variations

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West Hikari

These services first appeared in 1988 on the Sanyō Shinkansen between Shin-Osaka and Hakata using 6-car 0 series trains. 0 series 12-car SK units were employed on these services from 1989. From 11 March 2000, they were mostly replaced by the new 700 series Hikari Rail Star services, and were finally withdrawn on 21 April 2000.

Grand Hikari

These were the premier services operated between Tokyo and Hakata from 11 March 1989 using JR West 16-car 100 series V sets with four double-deck centre cars including a restaurant car.[4] These operated at a maximum speed of 230 km/h on the Sanyō Shinkansen (compared to 220 km/h for other Hikari services).[2] From 11 March 2000, restaurant car services were discontinued on all trains, and from May 2002 onwards, the few remaining Grand Hikari services were limited to the Sanyō Shinkansen only. The last Grand Hikari ran in November 2002.

Children's play area on a Family Hikari service, December 2003

Family Hikari

First appearing in the summer of 1995, these seasonal services operated between Shin-Osaka and Hakata during holiday periods using special 6-car 0 series sets (R2 and R24) which included a children's play area in car 3. All seats were reserved on these services.

Hikari Rail Star

JR West began operating the Hikari Rail Star service from the start of the new timetable on 11 March 2000. This service is limited to the Sanyō Shinkansen, and uses special 8-car 700 series trains with a distinctive livery and a maximum speed of 285 km/h. JR West introduced the service to provide better competition against airlines on the Osaka-Fukuoka route. These services do not have Green car accommodation, but the reserved seating cars feature 2+2 seating and also some 4-seat compartments instead of the standard 3+2 arrangement in non-reserved seating cars. The front row of seats in these cars feature power points for laptop users.

Train formations

N700 series

(All cars are no smoking except for smoking compartments located in Cars 3, 7, 10, and 15.)

←Hakata Tokyo→
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
NR NR NR NR NR R R G G G R R R R R R

300/700 series

←Hakata Tokyo→
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
NS NS S NS NS NS NS NS NS S NS NS NS NS S S
NR NR NR NR NR R R G G G R R R R R R

700 series Hikari Rail Star (except 540 and 543)

←Hakata Shin-Osaka→
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
NS S NS NS NS S NS NS
NR NR NR SL R R R C

700 series Hikari Rail Star (Hikari 540 from Hiroshima to Shin-Osaka)

←Hiroshima Shin-Osaka→
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
NS S NS NS NS S NS NS
NR NR NR NR NR NR NR C

700 series Hikari Rail Star (Hikari 543 from Shin-Osaka to Hakata)

←Hakata Shin-Osaka→
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
NS S NS NS NS S NS NS
NR NR NR NR NR R R C
Legend
  • G: Green car (first class) (reserved seating)
  • R: Standard class reserved seating
  • NR: Standard class non-reserved seating
  • SL: "Silence Car" - Standard class reserved seating; no conductor announcements are heard in the car
  • C: Standard class reserved seating + compartments
  • NS: Non-smoking seats
  • S: Smoking seats

Hikari Stopping Patterns (as of March 2009)

Key
● - All trains stop
▲ - Most trains stop
○ - Some trains stop
△ - Few trains stop
▬ - No trains stop
(###) Train numbers included in/excluded from table

Station Distance (km)
(from Tokyo)
Tokyo - Hiroshima
#460-487, 493
Tokyo - Shin-Osaka
#501, 503-530, 532, 534
Tokyo - Nagoya
#500, 502, 531, 533
Nagoya - Hiroshima
#490, 491, 495
Shin-Osaka - Hakata
#540-589
(Rail Star)
Tokyo 0.0
(ex. 493)
   
Shinagawa 6.8
(ex. 493)
   
Shin-Yokohama 25.5    
Odawara 76.7    
Atami 95.4    
Mishima 111.3    
Shizuoka 167.4
(except 460, 462)
   
Hamamatsu 238.9
(except 460, 462)
   
Toyohashi 274.2    
Nagoya 342.0  
Gifu-Hashima 367.1
(460, 462, 485, 487)
   
Maibara 408.2
(460, 462, 485, 487)
   
Kyoto 476.3    
Shin-Ōsaka 515.4  
Shin-Kobe 548.0    
Nishi-Akashi 570.2    
(495)
Himeji 601.3
(487 terminates)
   
Aioi 621.3    
(495)
Okayama 676.3    
Shin-Kurashiki 702.1
(462)
   
(540, 589)
Fukuyama 733.1
(462, 493)
   
(490, 491)
Shin-Onomichi 750.5
(462)
   
(540, 589)
Mihara 761.0
(462)
   
(540, 589)
Higashi-Hiroshima 791.9    
(540, 589)
Hiroshima 821.2
(493)
   
(540 starts)
(589 terminates)
Tokuyama 903.5        
Shin-Yamaguchi 944.6        
Shin-Shimonoseki 992.5        
Kokura 1013.2        
Hakata 1069.1        

References

  • JR Timetable, March 2008 issue
  1. ^ JR-odekake.net N700-Hikari(in Japanese)
  2. ^ a b "列車名鑑1995" (Train Name Directory 1995), published August 1995 by Railway Journal
  3. ^ JR Central (2008-08-22). "秋の臨時列車のお知らせ". Press release. http://jr-central.co.jp/news/release/nws000167.html. Retrieved 2008-08-25.  
  4. ^ "東海道新幹線" (Tōkaidō Shinkansen), by Hiroshi Suda, published 2002 by JTB Can Books, isbn 4-533-03563-9

External links


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