|Service type||Limited express|
|Current operator(s)||JR West|
|Line(s) used||Tokaido Line (JR Kyoto Line), Kosei Line, Hokuriku Line, IR Ishikawa Railway Line, Nanao Line|
|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.
Stations in parentheses are not served by all services.
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
(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
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).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.
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.
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.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. On 17 January 2008, the district court in Otsu sentenced the man to 18 years in prison.
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.
The Hokuriku Main Line(Japanese: 北陸本線, Japanese pronunciation: [Hokuriku-honsen]) is a 176.6 kilometer railway line owned by the West Japan Railway Company connecting the Maibara Station in Maibara, Shiga, with the 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
The Shirasagi (しらさぎ) is a limited express train service in Japan operated by the West Japan Railway Company since 1964. It runs between Nagoya and Kanazawa. Shirasagi (白鷺) is the Japanese name for the "egret", a white heron.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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