Saturday, July 22, 2006

Series 485; JNR AC-DC triple EC for limited express

JNR conventional line has three types of electrification as follows.
  • DC 1.5kV
  • AC 20kV/50Hz
  • AC 20kV/60Hz
These different electrifications are scattered in Japan. AC-DC dual EC was strongly needed to run long distance through express in '60s. First, series 481 was born in 1964. It was AC 20kV/60Hz - DC 1.5kV dual EC and made west-Japan its stage. For historical reasons, power supply frequency in west-Japan is different from east-Japan. In the following year, series 483 was born for extending its stage to east; AC 50Hz area. But it did not support 60Hz AC. In 1968, these two series were consolidated to series 485; AC-DC triple EC.

Series 485(original), photo by ghost

Series 485 train which ran though three types of electrification was rare. The only case was Hakucho(means "swan") running between Osaka and Aomori. The true purpose of triplexing was rather flexible reassignment than long distance running. In fact, series 485 became hot commodities from Hokkaido in the north to Kyushu in the south.

Series 485-3000, photo by toukaidou211

However, breakup and privatization of JNR to JR in 1987 altered the situation. Needs of reassignment became a thing of the past because of JR companies' regionalization. A lot of series 485 were replaced by newer cars specified for each of region. But, a part of them survived as altered cars. Bahnsim PRO includes 485-3000; one of them, owned by JR east. Compared to the original one, it is attached LED for indicating the train nickname and painted tricolor; white, green and blue, is called Niigata-color after its main stage, or called Kami-nuttari-color after its depot.

Series 485-3000 on Bahnsim PRO


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