škoda 2024

Class E8 Shinkansen enters commercial service

posted on 13th Mar 2024 16:14

On 16 March 2024, with the new timetable for Japan's rail network, the new Class E8 Shinkansen will enter commercial service. JR East will use the seven-car Class E8 EMU on the Yamagata Shinkansen - so-called Mini Shinkansen, because it is a regauged former 1,067 mm line, which requires Shinkansen EMUs with a reduced loading gauge (bodyshell width of 2,945 mm instead 3,350 mm of a normal Shinkansen train, the cars are also shorter with 20 m in length instead of 25 m).

On the Yamagata (Mini)Shinkansen line, the speed is limited to 130 km/h. The line branches off from the Tohoku Shinkansen high-speed line at Fukushima. From Fukushima to Tokyo the E8s will use Tohoku Shinkansen high speed line thus can travel up to 300 km/h. The cars are numbered 11 to 17 because E8s will regularly run in formation with ten-car Class E2 or E5 EMUs on the Tokyo-Fukushima section of Tohoku Shinkasen. The 9 m long nose of the train is aerodynamically optimised to reduce noise at high speeds. The train is designed to cope with the enormous amount of snow on the line through the mountains to Yamagata. The E8s are to gradually replace the (remaining) Class E3 Shinkansens with a top speed of 275 km/h.

Each E8 unit consists of five powered intermediate cars and two non-powered end cars. It offers 329 seats in "normal class" (second class) and 26 seats in "green class" (first class). The train has a 1,435 mm track gauge and can use 25 kV 50 Hz supply on the Tohoku Shinkansen HSL and 20 kV 50 Hz on the Fukushima - Shinjo section. Pantographs are located on cars 12 and 16.

The first train was delivered to Sendai on 30 January 2023 by sea. Test operation on Shinkansen lines began on 27 February 2023. In these days the staff training on the route is undergoing. Kawasaki and Hitachi will deliver to JR East 15 trains until 2026.

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