Railways in Japan
Shinkansen, freight trains and colourful railcars
Who doesnít know him, the Shinkansen, the Japanese bullet train, which was built for the 1964 Olympics
in Tokyo and introduce the high-speed era on rails. But did you know that all the Shinkansen
lines and train categories have their own names? On the Tokaido Shinkansen (Tokyo - Osaka)
Nozomi のぞみ (wish or hope),
Hiraki ひかり (light) and
Kodama こだま (echo), while on the Tohoku Shinkansen (Tokyo - Aomori) you can enter in a
Hayabusa はやぶさ (peregrine falcon),
Hayate はやて (stormy wind),
Yamabiko やまびこ (mountain echo),
Nasuno なすの (field in Nasu) or
Tsubasa つばさ (wing) train and on the Hokuriku Shinkansen (Tokyo -) Takasaki - Kanazawa
you encounter the
Kagayaki かがやき (gloss),
Hakutaka はくたか (night hawk) and
Tsurugi つるぎ (sword). Or do you know that the Shinkansen gauge is different
from the standard Japanese track? The express trains on them were also given with euphonious
names like the Aizu, Kuroshio, Yamatoji, Shiokaze, Fujikawa, Azusa, Shirasagi or Kumagawa
to just to mention some. Japan's trains, and this applies also to freight trains,
are running absolutely punctual on time and despite overtakings of express trains at the
stations where the slower passengers trains make a regular traffic stop.
Japan's railways offer even more. Many of the lines are run by private railway companies,
which offer train services all over the country in addition to the former state railways (JR).
If the passenger uses on his journey several companies, he must pay the ticket fee for
each line directly to the operating railway company. A ticket can only be purchased at the
ticket counter, or, on trains and stations with small traffic, the payment can be done in
cash at the train driver in the train itself.
As a special treat, on some lines steam trains in the scheduled regular service as an express
train are offered to improve the service and as a tourist magnet, which the passenger can use
with a normal ticket plus the seat reservation. Japan Rail Pass holders can use the
steam trains of JR (Oigawa-Honsen, Mooka and Chichibu are private !) for free with their Japan Rail Pass.
The obligatory seat reservation must be made, however, is also free of charge.
What a service, in Japan the customer still feels like a king.
The reservation is necessary, since trains hauled by a steam locomotive are generally very
well accepted and used, where they fulfill a supraregional traffic function.
These steam trains are even provided together with the "normal" trains in the electronic
timetable system and can be recognized very quickly by a different color and the addition SL.
Each train category has its own color.
In the same colorful way presents the rolling stock. The enormous variety of different series
of railcars or motor coaches in passenger transport astonishes the railway fanciers,
whether on the Shinkansen routes or the local and express service on the Japanese standard
tracks. Nearly every electrically operated service is driven by another model.
Unfortunately, all passenger trains are driven by motor coaches. The enthusiast for locomotives
has to put his focus only on freight trains whose network isnít that comprehensive as
passenger traffic, or on the steam trains that are always conducted with the chimney in front.
Drop of bitterness: the last night trains "Hanamasu" and "Cassiopeia" are shut with the opening
of the Hokkaido Shinkansen. Only the "Sunrise Seto" (Tokyo to Takamatsu) and the
"Sunrise Izumo" (Tokyo to Matsue and Izumo) remain in night connecting service.
Following on from the picture gallery, there are explanations and requirements.
Further pages can be found on the subject of railways, train and locomotives.
Video to photo and other country galleries
Some Photos have a corresponding Video clip. If you prefer to see motion instead of
a HD image then you should switch to
Video to photo
There you will find videos which are listed in the same sequence as the photos and
which are uploaded to the Internet. Please note that as starting sequence
only the videos with Japanese trains are selected, including steam trains
You are welcome to modify as to your personal preference and then rebuild the overview again.
Photographs and pictures of locomotives and trains of other countries are collected in separate
galleries. Diesel and electric locomotives, trains and motor coaches, railway companies
in national and cross-border traffic on foreign (European) country tracks are presented for
in national galleries due to the amount of available pictures. All other countries are summarized in the
international photo gallery.
The steam locomotives mustnít be missing, but they have as well their own national galleries, one is reserved for
German steam trains, another for
Japanese steam train operations.
Although there are only 3 operational steam locomotives in
Sri Lanka, they have their own gallery, because an organized journey
will cause a lot of beautiful pictures in a magnificent landscape.
Chinese factory and coal mine railways were also spun off and joined together in its
China winter steam gallery, because the amount of available photos is simply
too intensive to show them in the regular steam locomotive gallery.
All other steam locomotives and trains pictures are joined together in the
worldwide photo gallery.
No photo gallery? Worth knowing about technology and program
If your operating system doesnít build the photo gallery, but instead displays a warning
that restricts the display of active content, allow the blocked risk. The navigation,
the selection menus of the photo gallery as well as the control of the gallery pages are
Furthermore, since version 3.0 the entire screen is designed in container technology with a
maximum of 5 areas, which are set visible or kept hidden depending on the screen width.
Same width also determines how many shots can be shown in a row and automatically adjusts to
it when you refresh the screen, similar to your Windows Explorer. Due to the variable structure
of the gallery, unfortunately, no headings can be given any longer, which area will be
The photo gallery itself as one on the 5 subsections is displayed with dynpro subscreen
technology, means that in the screen encircled container 2 other containers are connected in the
top left position. One of these sub-container shows as transparent background image
the Japanese EF66-118 in Kakegawa; the other container contains the text.
The wallpaper in the background is fixed with 100% x-axis and 100% y-axis and
3050 pixels, the text container calculates its depth itself. Depending to your screen
configuration, one container is displayed deeper than the other, so there it at the
bottom an overpowering beyond the edge of one of the containers.
In normal cases the wallpaper should finish deeper than the text.
Some patience, please note
The pictures of the photo gallery are extremely compressed to 165 * 110 pixels,
thus very fuzzy, but this is the intention. By clicking the frame you will get the actual size
with an image resolution of 2250 * 1500 pixels and the detailed data to the picture.
You can click the graphics right away, the second screen will open, but it may be that
your Internet browser will load all the photos in the gallery before the single photo
is activated in the zoom. Also note that your computer may issue a warning about active
elements in the background. Without activation and during charging, the zoom screen
remains black, which is not a program error, it is just the background color.
Please be patient. How the photo description is structured and which possibilities
you have in operating the system, is shortly summarized in the
to the photo.
Enthusiasts and railway experts
Railway fans are welcome to contribute additional data, since the author
doesnít consider himself a professional for example concerning classes or history of
a locomotive. Through our
you can access to other interesting galleries and
presentations on the topic of steam locomotive and railway on the Internet.
Webmasters, companies, railway stations, associations, museums, clubs, organizations,
who like to be linked to our list, we offer the chance to cross reference by
exchanging links to your presentation. Would you like to
for your proposals, suggestions, improvements and criticism.