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Author Topic: Takahachikawa (Japanese layout)  (Read 38788 times)

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Online railsquid

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Re: Takahachikawa (Japanese layout)
« Reply #465 on: June 26, 2019, 12:41:50 AM »
Is it a Kato 10-374?

I had just Googled 'orange Japanese commuter train photos' and something by 'tutenkhamunsleeping' on the N Gauge Forum from March 2018 came up about 8 pics down  :).

Actually 10-370, I think 10-374 is the 4-car add-on set.

This 201 series model dates from ca. 1997, the protoype from ca. 1980 when it was launched as the first of a new generation of commuter trains with more efficient electrickery bits resulting in substantial (ca. 30%?) power consumption reduction compared to the earlier designs. It replaced the mix of 101 and 103 series trains, though the latter survived on the outer branches for a few years.


Kato 201 series (Chuo Line) by Rail Squid, on Flickr

The cab windows were a new, more modern-looking design, but the car bodies followed the conventional commuter train pattern, thought this was the last class to carry the all-over colour.

Replace ca. 2006 - 2008 by the previously seen E233 series.


Kato 201 series (Chuo Line) by Rail Squid, on Flickr
Takahachikawa - Japanese and other trains

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Offline Webbo

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Re: Takahachikawa (Japanese layout)
« Reply #466 on: June 26, 2019, 12:44:58 AM »
Hi railsquid

I can see why you and others like Japanese railway modelling. The passenger trains you show look very good with great variety and the quality of the models looks excellent.

Webbo

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Re: Takahachikawa (Japanese layout)
« Reply #467 on: June 26, 2019, 01:39:11 AM »
Since my trip, I must admit I've become very interested in Japanese models.  :thumbsup:
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

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Re: Takahachikawa (Japanese layout)
« Reply #468 on: June 26, 2019, 06:20:00 AM »
They certainly are addictive.  It's the advantage of N being the dominant scale here and a wide range of trains from multiple manufacturers being available at usually quite reasonable prices and with consistent quality. Though I'd say the level of detailing is generally somewhat behind current British models and there is often a bit of self-assembly required. On the other hand there's also a huge range of 3rd party detailing parts etc. available.


Kato 201 series (Chuo Line) by Rail Squid, on Flickr

The cab windows were a new, more modern-looking design, but the car bodies followed the conventional commuter train pattern, thought this was the last class to carry the all-over colour.

Taking a brief step away from the Chuo Line, this is the successor class, the 203 series, which is basically the underground version of the 201 series designed for through-running between JR's Joban Line in the north east of Tokyo and the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line (which connects with the Odakyu line linking Shinjuku with Odawara/Hakone, though at the time these were running, JR trains didn't run on it at all). This class marks the transition to the aluminium body with horizontal colour stripe which was carried through to the E233 series, but retains the classic body design, the last class to do so.


MicroAce 203 series by Rail Squid, on Flickr

Model by MicroAce, special edition representing the set on its final run in 2011 with commemorative headmark etc. Unlike other manufacturers MicroAce tend to provide models completely complete and specialize in very specific representations of particular sets at particular times. They do then tend to be somewhat more expensive (unless you fine them as absolute bargains, like this one, new it cost me less than the RRP of two Farish Mk1s  :thumbsup:).


MicroAce 203 series by Rail Squid, on Flickr
« Last Edit: June 26, 2019, 06:24:24 AM by railsquid »
Takahachikawa - Japanese and other trains

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Re: Takahachikawa (Japanese layout)
« Reply #469 on: June 26, 2019, 07:33:52 AM »
Now that's a great price! I really wish I'd bought a few more Kato locos that day in Tokyo. They're such beautiful runners.
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

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Re: Takahachikawa (Japanese layout)
« Reply #470 on: June 26, 2019, 07:41:55 AM »
Hi railsquid

I can see why you and others like Japanese railway modelling. The passenger trains you show look very good with great variety and the quality of the models looks excellent.

Webbo

Yes, I fully agree.  :thumbsup:

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Re: Takahachikawa (Japanese layout)
« Reply #471 on: June 26, 2019, 10:50:47 AM »
Quote
It's the advantage of ... a wide range of trains from multiple manufacturers being available at usually quite reasonable prices and with consistent quality. Though I'd say the level of detailing is generally somewhat behind current British models and there is often a bit of self-assembly required.

Here in the UK the reviews and the market stress mega detailing, which must raise prices. Japanese real railways seem to produce so many prototype variations, and we can only envy the speed with which the Japanese model market follows suit  :)

For someone who loves a multiple unit, it does make Japanese modelling more tempting!

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Re: Takahachikawa (Japanese layout)
« Reply #472 on: June 26, 2019, 10:54:36 AM »
You and me both, Buff!  :beers:
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

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Re: Takahachikawa (Japanese layout)
« Reply #473 on: June 26, 2019, 04:52:04 PM »
Fascinating stuff, I remember the orange ones from my time in Japan in the late 90s'. I used to live one year in Ogikubo and one year near Mitaka (both West of Tokyo - see line map):

I'm getting quite nostalgic. I hope to get a business trip in to Japan maybe 2020 and I can check out all the new trains. I will ask advice from Squid-san and Bealeman on what railway related sightseeing I should do....still very interested to see the Maglev.

@railsquid  - Is there no part of the layout that could hide a few tunnels and a dead straight maglev line? Surely the Tokyo to Nagoya extension will pass right past Takahachikawa ?  :)
Hogwarts to King's Cross - My layout under construction: http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=43358.msg536504#msg536504

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Re: Takahachikawa (Japanese layout)
« Reply #474 on: June 27, 2019, 01:21:33 AM »
The Maglev, I believe, will be largely built in tunnels, particularly underneath the Tokyo area, so anyone who wishes to imagine its presence swooshing by deep beneath the baseboards is free to do so.

Takara-Tomy (parent company of Tomix) do a toy-like representation of it, though to be honest it's not a mode of transport which particularly appeals to me, either as model or prototype.


Fascinating stuff, I remember the orange ones from my time in Japan in the late 90s'. I used to live one year in Ogikubo and one year near Mitaka (both West of Tokyo - see line map):


Ah yes, Chez Railsquid is literally up the road from Mitaka. I've spent a fair bit of time over the last couple of years with the Squidlet on the bridge over the depot there.
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Re: Takahachikawa (Japanese layout)
« Reply #475 on: June 27, 2019, 04:10:38 AM »
So, talking of Mitaka, it is the western terminus of the Chuo-Sobu Line, which is the yellow line running next to the thick orange Chuo Line Rapid in the map above. Technically it's part of the Chuo and Sobu lines (the Sobu line being the dark blue one on the map running northeast from Tokyo Station), but operationally is a separate pair of tracks providing local all-station services for both lines. And to confuse things further, it also does through-running with the Tokyo Metro Tozai Line at both ends, but we'll worry about that later.

The point of this little ramble is the 205 series train, which is the successor to the 201 using a different, more cost-effective electrickery control mechanism, and has an all-stainless steel body and, in a departure from tradition, larger side windows (though the first few sets built still had the old style). This model is in Chuo-Sobu line colours (well colour):


Greenmax 205 series (Chuo-Sobu line) by Rail Squid, on Flickr

and is by GreenMax, the least big of the "Big Four" N scale manufacturers (the others being Kato, Tomix and MicroAce) which started out as a manufacturer of plastic self-assembly kits, including trains and structures, but have been doing RTR for quite a while now. This one is a bit of a rarity as it appears to have been a special production run for a specific retailer and it's basically a pre-assembled kit from ca. 20 years ago so is lacking modern amenities such as directional lighting. But it's not too bad as a representation, and saves me the trouble of sourcing a kit and building it myself (my modelling skills are such that I rely on being able to cover up modelling mistakes with strategic shrubbery, which won't work so well on actual trains). Kato also do a version of this but sets are rare and when available insanely expensive, which in part is due to the fact that the Chuo-Sobu line only ever had two 205 series sets, which were replacements for two sets which were written off after an accident.

For comparison, this is the Kato 205 series in Saikyo Line livery (model from ca. 1994, modified with replacement LED lighting, still missing destination blinds):


Kato 205 series (Saikyo Line) by Rail Squid, on Flickr

The 205 series (ca. 1460 cars built total) was the last major JNR commuter design and can be found in both JR East and JR West areas, but is slowly being replaced and some of the sets have been sold on to Indonesia, where they operate in Jakarta.

Like the 201 series, there was a version of this for through-running with Tokyo Metro, the 207 series, but this was an experimental set and only one was ever built (though it did last well over 20 years in operation).

« Last Edit: June 27, 2019, 05:49:40 AM by railsquid »
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Re: Takahachikawa (Japanese layout)
« Reply #476 on: June 28, 2019, 03:02:29 AM »
Right, just got back from Tachikawa (the "kawa" in Takahachikawa") where a branch of the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau resides (at the end of a potholed road prone to turning into puddles at the slightest hint of rain, sandwiched beween a Self-Defence Force barracks and an MOT centre) and they've extended my Japanese N Gauge Purchasing Visa for a further 5 years, so the continuing existence of this thread is guaranteed.

So, in today's episode, we have passed that magic date in 1987 when JNR was privatised and the regional JR companies started going their own their own way, though production of JNR designs such as the 205 series continued for a few years.

This is a 209 series (are you beginning to see a pattern in the class numbers?) unique to JR East, first produced around 1994 and is the forefather of all JNR commuter stock produced since. The front end is radically redesigned, with a single wide pane of glass (presumably reflecting, hah, advances in glazing technology), the body is lightweight stressed aluminium (or something like that) and the whole thing is lighter, more energy efficient and recyclable (theoretically at least).

Being Japan, 1994 is a long time ago, and the original 209-0 series variant is becoming thin on the ground and eking out a living as special conversions, shortened hand-me-down variants in the provinces etc.; later variants can still be found in mainline service, though even these are being gradually cascaded outwards and downward. More on those later.


Tomix 209 series (Nanbu Line) by Rail Squid, on Flickr

Model by Tomix, from ca. 2007, disappointingly directional lighting is not LED-based, which really needs rectifying for these kinds of modern destination panels. Line colour is that of the Nanbu Line, which runs between Tachikawa and Kawasaki. The latter is known outside Japan mainly for motorcycles, but it's actually a large residential/industrial/port city squeezed in between Tokyo and Yokohama, though it's the kind of place you pass through when travelling beween Tokyo and Yokohama or vice-versa without feeling the overwhelming urge to stop off there.
Takahachikawa - Japanese and other trains

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Re: Takahachikawa (Japanese layout)
« Reply #477 on: June 28, 2019, 12:21:16 PM »
The latter (Kawasaki) is known outside Japan mainly for motorcycles, but it's actually a large residential/industrial/port city squeezed in between Tokyo and Yokohama, though it's the kind of place you pass through when travelling beween Tokyo and Yokohama or vice-versa without feeling the overwhelming urge to stop off there.

Funnily enough I made the very same trip today.

Anyway, on the offchance anyone is still reading and not reeling from an overdose of Japanese commuter EMU information, here'a... 209-500 series in Chuo-Sobu Line colours:


MicroAce 209-500 series (Chuo-Sobu Line) by Rail Squid, on Flickr

You may notice it looks a little chubbier around the tumblehome than the previous 209... that is due to an increased proprortion of dairy products in the Japanese diet, err sorry, due to the fact that someone had the bright idea of increasing capacity by making the trains a little wider, which turns out to be practical as you don't need to increase the width of the whole body. This was actually planned for the successor series (E231) but due to delays in development it was decided to plonk the E231 body on the 209 series chassis, resulting in what we see here.

Model by MicroAce, a little older and not quite as good visually as the versions put out by Tomix and Kato, but available 2nd hand by the kilo for not much money (6 car set for less than the RRP of a modern Farish Mk1 kind of level), especially as the MicroAce mechanisms seem to develop the habit of SCREECHING LOUDLY after a decade or so, but they soon learn to purr smoothly after a brief visit to Railsquid's Workbench of Spares and Despair (the trick is to carefully oil the motor bearings, *and* the "O-rings" in which the worm gear rotates, and possibly clean out the Mysterious Fibres Wrapped Around The Turny Bits).
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Re: Takahachikawa (Japanese layout)
« Reply #478 on: June 28, 2019, 01:16:11 PM »
My eyesight must be getting really bad.

I had trouble then with the paint jobs. ;)

It was the O rings that brought about the demise of the  Challenger space shuttle, by the way  :beers:
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

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Re: Takahachikawa (Japanese layout)
« Reply #479 on: June 28, 2019, 01:54:36 PM »
It was the O rings that brought about the demise of the  Challenger space shuttle, by the way  :beers:

Fortunately these trains are powered by conventional low-voltage DC electricity and do not need to reach orbital velocity by setting fire to what are basically very large fireworks with parachutes.
Takahachikawa - Japanese and other trains

Birmingham Knotmore Street - (ex) GWR mainline through the Midlands

 

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