The only double-decker train Shinkansen will stop operating in Japan
The operation of high-speed trains of the E4 series lasted 24 years. Japan’s only double-decker Shinkansen E4 series train, also known in the country as Max Toki and Max Tanigawa, will stop regular passenger traffic on October 1 this year.
The train now runs on the Joetsu Shinkansen line, which connects Tokyo and Niigata. When it is decommissioned, there will be no more double-decker high-speed trains on Japanese railways.
To conduct the train with dignity, East Japan Rail, which operates it, organized a series of events on the eve of its last trip. Among other things, information banners were hung at Tokyo station, thanking the E4 series trains for their years of service, and one of the escalators was stylized as a double-decker train.
East Japan Rail has also created a special site to pay tribute to the train on the eve of its last trip. On the site you can learn more about the history of the train, as well as buy souvenirs.
Shinkansen E4 series double-decker trains began operating in December 1997. A total of 208 cars (or 26 trains of 8 cars) were produced. To increase the capacity, the two trains can be combined. The train of 16 cars can accommodate one thousand six hundred and thirty-four passengers.
Because the top speed of the train is only 240 km/h, it is considered less efficient than other models, such as the E5, which can run at a speed of 320 km/h. This has been the main reason that trains are decommissioned.
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