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Photo 1. E7 Series Shinkansen train entering Omiya Station

The E7 Series Shinkansen: JR East and JR West Operate Trial Runs with Passengers

East Japan Railway Co. (JR East) and West Japan Railway Co. (JR West) recently conducted trial runs for the new E7 Series train on Joetsu and Nagano Shinkansen track, taking another step toward the Hokuriku Shinkansen line extension to Kanazawa at the end of Fiscal 2014. The train, developed jointly by the two companies, carried media personnel on February 7, and regular passengers for three days (February 7 to 9), between Omiya and Nagano. JR East will place three E7 Series trainsets in service for seven Asama return runs daily between Tokyo and Nagano, beginning on March 15, 2014 its schedule is revised. The company will eventually run 17 trainsets. JR West plans to take possession of its first W7 Series train this spring, and will eventually run 10 trainsets.

The 12-car E7 Series trainsets will have a maximum speed of 260 km/h between Takasaki and Kanazawa. Car 12 (facing toward Kanazawa) offers luxury Gran Class accommodations, Car 11 is for First Class, and the other cars host Ordinary Class. Exterior colors have ivory white as their main theme, highlighted by blue on top and bronze and blue stripes on the side, symbolizing a blend of Japanese tradition and the latest technology. Inside the Gran Class car, with its warm lacquered hues, there is a sense of traditional Japan. Vibrations are reduced by a full-active suspension for Car 12 and a semi-active suspension for the other cars.

The test runs demonstrated the train’s smooth performance during startup, acceleration, deceleration and station stops. Inside, the E7 defines comfort, with little swaying or noise. The train reached 260 km/h on part of the track, and showed off its steady running capabilities even on steeper gradients and in tunnels. Some of the passengers rode in the Gran Class and First Class cars during the test runs.

Joining passengers for the trial runs were representatives from the two companies. Said JR East’s Deputy Director of the Transport and Rolling Stock Department: “We’ve developed a train that practically defines true comfort and taste. For example, the vestibules on the premium Gran Class car are designed with motifs highlighting Japan’s four seasons.” JR West’s Director of the Rolling Stock Design Office was equally enthusiastic: “The car interiors offer plenty of space and a sense of traditional Japan. We’re confident that passengers will enjoy traveling with us on this new train.”

The regular passengers, traveling from February 7 to 9, were separated into five return trips between Omiya and Nagano. About 3,500 of them got ahead of the traveling public in experiencing the riding comfort of the new cars.


Photo 2. Regular passengers board the train for a test run.

This article appeared in the Kotsu Shimbun newspaper on February 12, 2014. We thank the publisher, Kotsu Shimbun-sha, for granting us permission to present the article in translation.


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