Friday, July 28, 2006

Series 165; JNR standard EC for express

JNR (and JR also) provided three types of rapid train as follows.
  • Rapid service (Semi-Express)
  • Express
  • Limited express
Rapid service corresponds in position to RE or IR in Germany. It is just local train which passes some stations without stopping. To make use of it, you just have to pay basic fare.
In the case of more than express, you have to pay additional charge. In exchange, you can get to the destination faster and more comfortable. In previous times JNR had articulate differentiated service between express and limited express. Each of them had cars to itself. Cars for express have cheaper accommodation and uncomfortable. However, they were surely transportation for ordinary people. Series 165 was one of the most popular cars among them.

Series 165 was put into service in 1963.
It was originally developed for sharp inclined lines; such as Chuo line between Tokyo and Nagano. After that, it expanded its stage into flat lines because JNR applied its climbing power for acceleration in busy lines. That made series 165 a de-facto standard for express trains in DC lines.
Impressive painting; green and orange, was the feature inherited from previous-generation such as series 80 and 153. It was affectionately called Shonan-color after the region name where series 80 ran at first.

Series 165, photo by moko

In its prime days, we saw series 165 running through any DC lines. However, JNR reduced the number of express in the later half of the '80s. The main reason was that a lot of ordinary people preferred comfortable travel rather than cheaper one as economical advance. After JR started, limited express took center stage of the rapid train. Series 165 lost its own stage and retired from proper express use at last in 2003.

Series 165 on Bahnsim PRO

Even now, memories of series 165 seem to take Japanese rail-fun back to the good old days.


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