Mizuho (train)

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Mizuho
JRW N700-7000series S1.jpg
JR West N700-7000 series shinkansen set undergoing test running, April 2009
Overview
Service type Shinkansen
Locale Kyushu Shinkansen, Sanyo Shinkansen
First service1 October 1961 (Limited express)
12 March 2011 (Shinkansen)
Current operator(s) JR Kyushu, JR West
Former operator(s) JNR
Route
Start Shin-Osaka
End Kagoshima-Chuo
Average journey time3 hrs 45 mins
Service frequency6 return services daily
On-board services
Class(es) Standard + Green
Catering facilitiesTrolley service
Technical
Rolling stock N700-7000/8000 series
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in)
Electrification 25 kV AC overhead
Operating speed300 km/h (190 mph) (San'yō Shinkansen), 260 km/h (160 mph) (Kyūshū Shinkansen)

The Mizuho (みずほ) is a limited-stop shinkansen service operated between Shin-Osaka and Kagoshima-Chuo in Japan since 12 March 2011, following the completion of the Kyushu Shinkansen. [1] The name was formerly used for a limited express sleeping car service operated by JNR from 1961, which ran from Tokyo to Kumamoto, and was discontinued in December 1994. The name "mizuho (瑞穂)" literally means "abundant rice" in Japanese and "harvest" in the figurative sense. It was also an ancient name of Japan.[ citation needed ]

Contents

Train formation

Mizuho services are operated by 8-car JR West N700-7000 series and JR Kyushu N700-8000 series trainsets, with car 1 at the Kagoshima-Chuo end. All seats are non-smoking. [2] [3]

Car No.12345678
ClassNon-reservedNon-reservedNon-reservedReservedReservedGreenReservedReserved
FacilitiesToilet Smoking compartment, Toilet, cardphone Toilet Smoking compartment, Toilet, wheelchair spaceCardphone

History

Limited express sleeping car service

Mizuho service at Kumamoto, hauled by an ED76 electric locomotive, 1987 JR kyusyu ED76 68 14kei mizuho kumamoto.jpg
Mizuho service at Kumamoto, hauled by an ED76 electric locomotive, 1987

The Mizuho was first introduced on 1 October 1961 as a seasonal limited express sleeper train service, which ran from Tokyo to Kumamoto in Kyushu, supplementing the three existing limited express services, Asakaze , Sakura , and Hayabusa , operating between Tokyo and Kyushu. [4] From 1 October the following year, the service was upgraded from a "seasonal" service to become a daily service. [4]

The typical formation at this time was as shown below, with car 1 at the Kumamoto end. Cars 8 to 13 ran only between Hakata and Tokyo. [5]

Car No.12345678910111213
TypeHaFu 43RoNe 10Ro 54Shi 17HaNe 11HaNe 11HaFu 45HaNe 17HaNe 17HaNe 17HaNe 17HaNe 17HaFu 43

From 1 June 1963, 20 series coaches were added to the formation, and the train divided and joined at Moji to serve Oita via the Nippo Main Line in addition to Kumamoto. [4]

The schedule was as shown below. [4]

ServiceFromTo
DownTokyo (18:20)Oita (12:55) / Kumamoto (13:20)
UpKumamoto (16:30) / Oita (16:50)Tokyo (11:30)

The typical formation at this time was as shown below, with car 1 at the Kumamoto end. Cars 1 to 7 ran between Tokyo and Kumamoto, while cars 8 to 13 ran between Tokyo and Oita. [5]

Car No. 12345678910111213
TypeNi 22RoNe 22Shi 20HaNe 20HaNe 20HaNe 20HaNe 20HaFu 21RoNe 21HaNe 20HaNe 20HaNe 20HaNe 20HaFu 20

From October 1964, the Mizuho service once again became a direct service between Tokyo and Kumamoto following the introduction of the Fuji service running between Tokyo and Oita. [4]

The typical formation at this time was as shown below, with car 1 at the Kumamoto end. Cars 8 to 14 ran between Tokyo and Hakata only. [5]

Car No. 1234567891011121314
TypeNi 22RoNe 21Shi 20HaNe 20HaNe 20HaNe 20HaNe 20HaFu 21RoNe 21HaNe 20HaNe 20HaNe 20HaNe 20HaNe 20HaFu 20

From March 1972, new 14 series sleeping cars were introduced on Mizuho services, replacing the 20 series cars. [4]

From June 1991, dining car facilities were discontinued, and the Mizuho service itself was discontinued from 3 December 1994. [4]

Shinkansen

On 20 October 2010, it was formally announced by JR West and JR Kyushu that the Mizuho name would be used once again from 12 March 2011 for the new limited-stop Shinkansen services operating between Shin-Osaka and Kagoshima-Chūō using new JR West and JR Kyushu N700-7000 and N700-8000 series 8-car trainsets with a fastest journey time of 3 hours 45 minutes, some 25 minutes faster than the Sakura services.

Most trains stop only at Shin-Kobe, Okayama, Hiroshima, Kokura, Hakata, and Kumamoto, operating at a maximum speed of 300 km/h (190 mph) on the Sanyo Shinkansen and 260 km/h (160 mph) on the Kyushu Shinkansen. [3] The services are aimed primarily at the business market, with two return services in the morning and two in the evening. [1] An additional daily return working was added from 17 March 2012, increasing the number of services from four to five.

By 15 March 2014, there were six daily return workings per direction, with two trains stopping at Himeji to boost connectivity in the Kansai region. As of 14 March 2020, there are eight daily return workings per direction, with some trains making additional stops at Sendai, Kurume, Shin-Yamaguchi, Fukuyama or Himeji.

As with the existing Nozomi service operating on the Tokaido & San'yō Shinkansen lines, the Japan Rail Pass is not valid for travel on the Mizuho service. [6]

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 新幹線「みずほ」鹿児島―大阪3時間45分 ["Mizuho" Shinkansen: Kagoshima - Osaka 3 hrs 45 mins]. Yomiuri Online (in Japanese). The Yomiuri Shimbun. 21 October 2010. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
  2. JR Timetable, March 2012 issue, P.998
  3. 1 2 JR電車編成表 2012夏[JR EMU Formations - Summer 2012]. Japan: JRR. May 2012. pp. 129–207. ISBN   978-4-330-28612-9.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Teramoto, Mitsuteru (July 2001). 国鉄・JR列車名大辞典[JNR & JR Train Name Encyclopedia]. Tokyo, Japan: Chuoshoin Publishing Co., Ltd. pp. 535–536. ISBN   4-88732-093-0.
  5. 1 2 3 Teramoto, Mitsuteru (October 1973). "国鉄急行列車・愛称変遷史" [JNR Express Train Services - A History of Name Changes]. The Railway Pictorial. Japan: Denkisha Kenkyūkai. 24 (284): 63–66.
  6. "About Japan Rail Pass". Japan: Japan Railways Group. Archived from the original on 19 June 2017. Retrieved 29 March 2015.