Thunderbird (train)

Last updated

Thunderbird
Overview
Service type Limited express
StatusOperational
LocaleJapan
First service1995
Current operator(s) JR West
Route
Line(s) used Tokaido Line (JR Kyoto Line), Kosei Line, Hokuriku Line, IR Ishikawa Railway Line, Nanao Line
Technical
Rolling stock 681 series, 683 series
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)

The Thunderbird (サンダーバード, Sandābādo) is a limited express train service operated by the West Japan Railway Company (JR West) between Osaka and Kanazawa or Wakuraonsen in Japan, using portions of the Tokaido Main Line, Kosei Line, Hokuriku Main Line, IR Ishikawa Railway Line, and Nanao Line.

Contents

Station stops

Stations in parentheses are not served by all services.

Thunderbird

Osaka Kanazawa: Osaka - Shin-Osaka - (Takatsuki) - Kyoto - (Katata) - (Omi-Imazu ) - (Tsuruga) - (Takefu) - (Sabae) - Fukui - (Awaraonsen) - (Kagaonsen) - (Komatsu) - (Matto ) - Kanazawa

Kanazawa Wakuraonsen: Kanazawa - (Tsubata) - (Unoke) - (Takamatsu) - Hakui - (Yoshikawa) - Nanao - Wakuraonsen

Business Thunderbird

(an extra train which runs from Osaka to Kanazawa in the morning on weekdays after holidays)

Osaka → Shin-Osaka → Kyoto → Tsuruga → Takefu → Fukui → Awaraonsen → Komatsu → Kanazawa

Rolling stock

681 series EMU on a Thunderbird service, May 2006 Thunderbird express.jpg
681 series EMU on a Thunderbird service, May 2006

Formations

Thunderbird

Car No.123456789
AccommodationGreenReservedReservedReservedNon-reservedNon-reservedNon-reservedReservedReserved
Car No.123456789101112
AccommodationGreenReservedReservedReservedNon-reservedNon-reservedNon-reservedReservedReservedReservedReservedReserved

Business Thunderbird

Car No.123
AccommodationNon-reservedReservedReserved

History

From the start of the 20 April 1995 timetable revision, new 681 series EMUs were introduced on Osaka to Toyama services, named Super Raichō (Thunderbird). [1] These became simply Thunderbird from March 1997.

The last remaining Raichō service was discontinued from the start of the 12 March 2011 timetable revision, with all trains subsequently using the Thunderbird name. [2]

With the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen in March 2015, the Thunderbird timetable was revised, and services were truncated to operate between Osaka, Kanazawa and Wakura-Onsen. [3]

2006 rape incident

On 3 August 2006, a woman was raped by a 36-year-old man in a train toilet while travelling on the Thunderbird 50 service (just after Fukui Station), despite the car being occupied by approximately 40 other passengers. [4] As a result, JR West introduced a "women-only" section in the reserved-seating cars of Raichō and Thunderbird trains from October 2007, and JR East added prominent "SOS" stickers inside all of its trains in June 2007. [5] On 17 January 2008, the district court in Otsu sentenced the man to 18 years in prison. [6]

Future developments

A refurbished 683-4000 series set on a Thunderbird service in December 2015 683-4000 Thunderbird Yamazaki 20151220.jpg
A refurbished 683-4000 series set on a Thunderbird service in December 2015

All of the 681 and 683 series trainsets used on Thunderbird limited express services are scheduled to undergo a programme of refurbishment from autumn 2015 until the end of fiscal 2018. [7]

See also

Related Research Articles

Hokuriku Main Line

The Hokuriku Main Line is a 176.6 kilometer railway line owned by West Japan Railway Company connecting Maibara Station in Maibara, Shiga, with Kanazawa Station in Kanazawa, Ishikawa. It serves the Hokuriku region on the northern central coast of Honshu, the largest island of Japan, as well as offering connections to the regions of Kansai, Tōkai, Kantō, and Tōhoku.

<i>Raichō</i>

The Raichō (雷鳥) was a limited express train operated by the West Japan Railway Company between Osaka and Kanazawa in Japan until March 2011, using portions of the Tōkaidō Main Line, Kosei Line, and Hokuriku Main Line.

Hokuriku Shinkansen High-speed railway line in Japan between Tokyo and Kanazawa

The Hokuriku Shinkansen (北陸新幹線) is a high-speed shinkansen railway line jointly operated by East Japan Railway Company and West Japan Railway Company, connecting Tokyo with Kanazawa in the Hokuriku region of Japan. The first section, between Takasaki and Nagano in Nagano Prefecture, opened on 1 October 1997, originally called the Nagano Shinkansen (長野新幹線). The extension to Toyama in Toyama Prefecture and Kanazawa in Ishikawa Prefecture opened on 14 March 2015. Construction of a further section onward to Fukui and Tsuruga in Fukui Prefecture commenced in 2012, with scheduled opening in fiscal 2022. The route of the final section to Shin-Osaka was decided on 20 December 2016 as the Osaka–Kyoto route, with construction expected to begin in 2030 and take 15 years.

<i>Kitaguni</i>

The Kitaguni (きたぐに) was an overnight train service that operated in Japan from October 1961 until January 2013. Operated by West Japan Railway Company, it ran between Niigata and Osaka, taking approximately nine hours northbound and eight hours southbound. Reduced to seasonal operations in March 2012, the service was officially discontinued in January 2013.

Kosei Line

The Kosei Line is a commuter rail line in Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto Metropolitan Area, operated by West Japan Railway Company. The line was completed in 1974 by the former Japanese National Railways (JNR) to provide faster access from the Kansai region to the Hokuriku region. It originates at Yamashina Station in Yamashina-ku, Kyoto and ends at Ōmi-Shiotsu Station in Nagahama, Shiga.

Kanazawa Station Railway station in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan

Kanazawa Station is a major railway station in Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan, operated by West Japan Railway Company, the private railway operator Hokuriku Railroad, and the third-sector operator IR Ishikawa Railway.

Nanao Line

The Nanao Line is a railway line in Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan, operated by West Japan Railway Company and the Noto Railway. It runs between Tsubata Station in Tsubata and Anamizu Station in Anamizu.

Hokuetsu

The Hokuetsu (北越) was a limited express train service in Japan formerly operated by Japanese National Railways (JNR) and later by East Japan Railway Company between Kanazawa and Niigata from 1970 until March 2015.

Hokuriku (train)

The Hokuriku (北陸) was a "Blue Train" limited express sleeper train service formerly operated by Japanese National Railways (JNR) and later by East Japan Railway Company, which ran between Ueno Station in Tokyo and Kanazawa via the Shinetsu Main Line and Hokuriku Main Line. The journey took more than seven hours. The service was discontinued on 13 March 2010.

681 series Japanese train type

The 681 series is a dual-voltage electric multiple unit (EMU) train type operated by West Japan Railway Company (JR-West) and Hokuetsu Express on limited express services in Japan.

683 series Japanese train type

The 683 series is a dual-voltage electric multiple unit (EMU) train type operated by West Japan Railway Company (JR-West) and Hokuetsu Express on limited express services in Japan since 2001.

287 series Electric multiple unit train type operated in Japan

The 287 series is a DC electric multiple unit (EMU) train type operated by West Japan Railway Company (JR-West) in Japan on limited express services such as the Kinosaki and Kounotori from Kyoto and Osaka since 12 March 2011. 287 series EMUs were introduced on Kuroshio services from the start of the revised timetable on 17 March 2012.

<i>Noto</i> (train)

The Noto (能登) was a seasonal overnight express train service in Japan operated by East Japan Railway Company, which runs between Ueno Station in Tokyo and Kanazawa via the Shinetsu Main Line and Hokuriku Main Line. The journey takes approximately seven hours. The train was operated as a regular daily service by West Japan Railway Company until 13 March 2010, with operations transferred to JR East from this date. While JR East has not formally announced its discontinuation, no services have operated since February 2012.

<i>Hakutaka</i>

The Hakutaka (はくたか) is a high-speed shinkansen train service jointly operated by East Japan Railway Company and West Japan Railway Company between Tokyo and Kanazawa on the Hokuriku Shinkansen line in Japan. The shinkansen service was introduced on 14 March 2015, but the name was first used for a limited express service operated by Japanese National Railways (JNR) from 1965 until 1982, and later by JR West and Hokuetsu Express between 1997 and March 2015.

Kubikino

The Kubikino (くびき野) was a "Rapid" limited-stop train service in Japan operated by the East Japan Railway Company between Niigata and Arai on the Shinetsu Main Line in Niigata Prefecture from 2002 until March 2015.

Myōkō (train)

The Myōkō (妙高) was a limited-stop "Rapid" train service in Japan operated by the East Japan Railway Company between Nagano and Naoetsu on the Shinetsu Main Line from October 1997 until March 2015. The train was named after Mount Myōkō on the boundary between Nagano and Niigata Prefecture.

<i>Kagayaki</i>

The Kagayaki (かがやき) is a high-speed shinkansen train service jointly operated by East Japan Railway Company and West Japan Railway Company between Tokyo and Kanazawa on the Hokuriku Shinkansen line in Japan. The shinkansen service was introduced on 14 March 2015, but the name was first used for a limited express service operated by JR West from March 1988 until March 1997.

The Noto Kagaribi (能登かがり火) is a limited express train service operated by West Japan Railway Company between Kanazawa and Wakura-Onsen in Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan, via the IR Ishikawa Railway Line and Nanao Line since 14 March 2015.

The Dinostar is a limited express train service operated by the West Japan Railway Company between Fukui and Kanazawa in Japan via the Hokuriku Main Line since 14 March 2015.

The Biwako Express is a Commuter Limited Express train service operated by West Japan Railway Company between Osaka and Maibara or Kusatsu in Japan since June 2003. It replaced the previous Biwako Liner services.

References

  1. 列車名鑑1995[Train Name Directory 1995]. Japan: Railway Journal. August 1995.
  2. 特急「雷鳥」、来年3月で引退=「サンダーバード」に統一―JR西 ["Raichō" Limited express to be retired next March and standardized with "Thunderbird" - JR West] (in Japanese). Yahoo Japan Corporation. 17 December 2010. Archived from the original on 20 December 2010. Retrieved 17 December 2010.
  3. 北陸新幹線長野〜金沢駅間開業時の特急・快速列車について (PDF) (Press release). West Japan Railway Company. 27 August 2014. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
  4. "Train rapist took advantage of passengers' apathy, fear in night of terror". Japan Today. Japan. 2 May 2007. Archived from the original on 16 May 2007.
  5. "'SOS' stickers going up in every JR East car". The Japan Times. Japan: The Japan Times Ltd. 24 May 2007. Archived from the original on 9 April 2016. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  6. "Train rapist who cowed passengers gets 18 years". The Japan Times. Japan: The Japan Times Ltd. 18 January 2008. Archived from the original on 29 January 2017. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  7. より快適に!北陸~近畿を結ぶ特急「サンダーバード」、車両リニューアルへ [Rolling stock to be refurbished for Thunderbird limited express trains linking Hokuriku and Kinki] (in Japanese). Japan: Tetsudo Shimbun. 28 January 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2015.