Japanese Train Collection

Building a Japanese themed module started as a desire to have a prototypical scene to photograph my models of Japanese trains.  All of us know how many passenger trains we can accumulate if we buy everything we see that looks cool to us so I tried to control myself by only buying models of ones that we have ridden on our visits to Japan. 

I run these trains at full length on Ntrak layouts including the Shinkansens.  It's a kick to get peoples reactions when they see these trains, especially the Shinkansens.  Sometimes they don't believe that their are real trains like this.  So far on the AsiaNrail layout I don't run the Shinkansens and I shorten the others to no more than 4 cars.  I don't have DCC decoders in any of them but may begin to install them at some point in the future as I have decoders in most of my American prototype locomotives.

So here's at least part of my collection and the story on each.  I'll be adding more from time to time.

In my version of Tokyo, all trains stop at Musashi-Koyama station.

283 series Super Ozora

In Hokkaido some of the rail lines don't have overhead wires and require either diesel electric locomotives or a DMU set like this.  We rode one of these trains there in 1999. 

Both Kato and Tomix released the model in 2001 and I have the Kato version.  The real one tilts and so does the model.  The train we rode had 7 cars and so does the model.

253 series NEX
Narita Express

Narita International Airport is some distance from Tokyo and this special express train is one way to get into town.

We rode this from the airport on a trip we made in spring of 2009 shortly before this model was replaced by a newer one.  All 6 cars of my Kato set have interior lights but they don't show up in this photo.

485 Series

This type of train dates from the early 80's and were used on various lines in limited express service.  I've seen them in various color schemes but this one seems the most common.

We rode several in our 1999 trip.  I thought they had all been retired by now but saw one in Odawara in November of 2011.  The basic Kato set I have has 7 cars. 

E257 Azusa / Kaiji

This is my newest addition having purchased the Kato model in Tokyo in November after riding the real one.  These run as limited express service on the Chuo line.

201 series Chuo Line

Many Japanese trains have interesting displays on the ends and the model manufacturers have done a good job of incorporating that into the models.  Here's a closeup of my 201 series in Chuo line colors to show off feature.

The 201 series was used on the Chuo line for many years but was replaced by the E231 series sometime between 2005 and 2009.   In Tokyo they run as a 10 car train.  This Kato model comes as a 6 car set and then a 4 car add on set to make up the complete train.

Shinkansen section - added December 2014

My Shinkansen trains don't run on the Musashi-Koyama modules or anywhere else on the AsiaNrail line but they do get run often on the layouts of Peninsula Ntrak at various public shows.  A great place to see the Shikansens is where the tracks cross the river on my Hot Springs Junction module where the photos below were taken.

E2 - We rode the E2 the first time in 1999 between Morioka and Tokyo and then again in 2013 from Tokyo to Nagano.  They must really take care of these because after 14 years it did not appear to have aged at all.

My model is from Kato and it's an 8 car set just like the ones we rode.

E4 Max - This one is a double decker that we've ridden a couple of times on the Joetsu Shinkansen line between Tokyo and Takasaki.  It's really smooth but I don't think on that line it does it's top speed.

Both the prototypes we rode and my Tomix models are 8 cars train sets.

N700 - The 700 series currently (2014) handles all the services between Tokyo and Osaka on the Tokaido Shinkansen line.  They run in 16 car train sets and my Kato model of the train is the full 16 cars.

100 - The 100 series went into service in 1984 and continued in operation until just a few years ago. When we rode this type in 1999, they were 16 car train sets.  On later visits to Japan as these trains neared retirement, I noticed some shorter configurations being used.

My Tomix model of the 100 series is currently 12 cars including the 2 double deck cars.  I have picked these up one at a time as I can find them and hope to someday get the full 16 cars like the train we rode.