Friday, August 04, 2006

Series Kiha 283; JR Hokkaido pendulum diesel car

Speaking of Japanese railway, I wonder you conjure the image of electric cars such as shinkansen. However, the electrification rate of JR is not so high especially in Hokkaido and Shikoku; two large islands in Japan. There we can see a lot of high-speed diesel cars of limited express. Series Kiha 283 is one of the culminations. For your information, "Kiha" is jargon that means diesel car or DMU.

It is worthy of special mention that Kiha 283 is pendulum car with controlable tilting system. There are a lot of sharp curves even on main lines because we have many mountains and valleys in Japan. Pendulum car is one of the best way for speeding up for us.
Therefore, we put it to practical use the first in the world as series 381 EC in 1973. It contributed to improve time distance in electrificated lines.
It had been very difficult that they implement pendulum into diesel cars because of technological reason. Necessity always is the mother of invention. In 1989, JR Shikoku made it into reality at last as series 2000. It was also the first pedulum diesel car in the world. Series Kiha 283 can be said to be direct descendant of it.

Series Kiha 283, photo by toukaidou211

Regrettably, VRM viewer does not show the action of the tilting system.
By the way, I'm sure that you know the name of KATO; one of the most famous modellbahn maker in Japan. It is also known as HOBBYTRAIN brand in Europe. KATO released N gauge model of series Kiha 283 in 2004. It has tilting action just like the real car.

Series Kiha 283 on Bahnsim PRO


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