Sunday, August 20, 2006

Series 0; the original Shinkansen

Shinkansen; the bullet train is also well-known in Europe, I believe. It was born in 1964, and opened a new chapter of the high-speed train history. TGV nor ICE might not be developed if Shinkansen had not existed.

Series 0 is the first-generation of Sinkansen. It had been produced for 22 years till 1986. So there are several variations. Bahnsim PRO includes the first model of series 0. It is often called "big window cars" among Japanese railfans. Why? Of course, because series 0 with "small window" was born later in the interest of saving time to repair broken windows. "Small window cars;" series 0-2000 is included in VRM3-2nd package. You can see screenshots of them at CHO's catalog.

Series 0 exhibited in Oume rail park
photo by moko

About series 0, I have nothing else to talk. You had better visit wikipedia if you would like to know more. Well, let me explain why BSP includes both 1/160(N scale) and 1/150 model.

Excluding Shinkansen, most of major lines in Japan are narrow-gauged; 1,067mm. We face the problem as trying to model after non-standard-gauged trains. I mean discrepancy between the standard scale and narrow-gauge.

I know they go on the other model track from the international standard for narrow-gauge in Switzerland; such as H0m(12mm, 1/87). The founders of modellbahn in Japan followed a different path from them. They put 1/80 model on standard H0 track(16.5mm) for narrow-gauge. In the same way, 1/150 model is put on N track(9mm). That means Swiss people adopted uni-scale and multi-gauge but Japanese people did multi-scale and uni-gauge.

Series 0 on Bahnsim PRO

How about Shinkansen? It runs on standard gauge(1,435mm). Thus it is modeled on a scale 1/160 for N track. VRM/BSP follows that because VRM is compliant with JAPANESE N gauge specification. As the result, Shinkansen looks too small when we compare it with the narrow-gauged trains modeled on scale 1/150. So I.MAGiC decided to enclose 1/150 model of Shinkansen in the same package. That is like putting the cart before the horse. But most of VRM users seem to have little complaint about that. Because we Japanese are generally unconcerned about discrepancy between scale and gauge of modellbahn.


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