News Article | May 3, 2017
Branchline dining: Travellers willing to shell out $8,500 each can enjoy the height of luxury on the Train Suite Shiki-Shima in northern Japan, where Michelin-starred chefs prepare top-notch nosh (AFP Photo/str) Tokyo (AFP) - It's got Michelin-starred chefs, solid cypress bathtubs and a cosy snug complete with roaring fire: the Shiki-Shima could hold its own against any five-star hotel. Not bad for a train. In a country best known for its super-fast "Shinkansen" bullet trains, the emphasis in Japan's latest extravaganza on rails is on savouring the moment, with no expense spared to create the most luxurious travelling experience. Customers willing to shell out up to 950,000 yen ($8,500) per person can enjoy a top-of-the-range suite aboard the Shiki-Shima for four days and three nights of unparalleled extravagance. The 10-car train has huge viewing windows through which customers can see the northern Japanese countryside used to grow the ingredients in seasonal delicacies prepared by the onboard chefs. After dinner they can gather for a drink around the piano, or sit and soak up the atmosphere next to the fireplace -- actually a trick created by steam and coloured light -- on a journey that takes them from Tokyo to the northernmost island of Hokkaido and back again. The light-gold "Train Suite Shiki-shima" sleeper -- whose name means "Four Seasons Island" -- departed Ueno Station in Tokyo for its maiden journey on Monday, carrying 33 passengers, according to operator East Japan Railway. And despite the hefty price tag, there is no shortage of customers -- tickets are booked out through to March next year. The Shiki-Shima is not the first uber-luxurious train to hit the tracks in Japan, which seems to have a supply of discerning and moneyed travellers. In 2013, Kyushu Railway unveiled its "Seven Stars" service with a piano and a bar, top-end dining and luxury suites, while West Japan Railway will launch the "Twilight Express Mizukaze" sleeper in June.
News Article | May 5, 2017
Japanese trains have long been known for their speed and efficiency. Now, if the East Japan Railway Company has its way, luxurious may soon be added to the list with the May 1 debut of its Train Suite Shiki-shima. Designed by famed industrial designer Ken Okuyama and inspired by the popularity of the Seven Stars Cruise Train that began service in 2013, the super exclusive Shiki-shima train offers passengers traveling from Tokyo's Ueno station to eastern areas on the main island of Honshu a cruise ship-like experience on rails. The 10-car train can accommodate no more than 34 passengers per trip, with 15 suites in five regular sleeper cars, and two suites in a deluxe sleeper. All suites come with their own private dining area and two twin beds. Besides a dining car and lounge car, the two domed observation cars at both ends are a highlight of the feature-rich train, with large windows along the walls and roof and sofas that run the length of the car for passengers to relax and take in the mountain or coastal scenery. To that end, the company is offering trips of two to four days that emphasize seasonal landscapes and events, with sightseeing stops by bus along the way. In using top-of-the-line materials and hiring top designers such as Okuyama, the company seems to have spared little expense, paying great attention to even the smallest details, from uniforms to cutlery. While the Seven Stars Cruise Train has a classic Orient Express look, room interiors of Shiki-shima have a decidedly modern Japanese design, using traditional wood materials, Japanese washi paper and Japanese lacquer. The lounge car features sofas made with traditional bentwood – a technique of bending wood with steam – and hand-crafted carpets from Japan's Oriental Carpet Mills. The design of the train incorporates artistic elements of eastern Japanese culture, found particularly in the lounge car with its wall panels and windows designed in a forest motif, while suite rooms feature tatami mats and cypress bathtubs that give off a natural fragrance. Unsurprisingly, the dining experience is also top shelf. French-trained Chef Katsuhiro Nakamura, the first Japanese chef to receive a Michelin star, cooks with ingredients collected from stops along the train's route, and diners eat with nickel silver cutlery made by Yamazaki Kinzoku Kogyo, whose creations have been used at Nobel Prize award banquets. The cost of a trip on Shiki-shima starts at ¥320,000 (US$2,850) per person when sharing a room, and goes up to ¥950,000 (US$8,450) per person sharing the deluxe suite. Demand for the inaugural trip was such that passengers were chosen by lottery, while subsequent trips on Shiki-shima are already booked through March 2018. Luxury train travel seems to be catching on in Japan, with the West Japan Railway Company, based out of Osaka, to begin its Twilight Express Mizukaze cruise train service in June.
Kumano H.,Shinshu University |
Hirata T.,Shinshu University |
Hagiwara Y.,West Japan Railway Co. |
Tamura F.,Shinshu University
International Journal of Refrigeration | Year: 2012
The effect of storage on flow and heat transfer characteristics of ice slurry was investigated experimentally. After ice slurry had been stored in the storage tank, variations in ice particle size were measured using a microscope, and diameter distribution and average diameter determined. The ice packing factor, Reynolds number and storage time were varied as experimental parameters. The pressure drop and heat transfer coefficient were measured when the ice slurry flowed in the horizontal tube. For laminar flow, the ratios of pipe friction and heat transfer coefficient decreased with storage time. For more than 12 h storage time, the ice slurry could not flow in the tube. The adhesion between ice particles seemed to cause a blockage in the tube. On the other hand, for turbulent flow, the pipe friction and ice slurry heat transfer coefficients were similar to that of the ethanol solution, and the storage effect was insignificant. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd and IIR. All rights reserved.
West Japan Railway Company and Kawasaki Heavy Industries | Date: 2012-02-01
A railcar 100 according to the present invention includes an underframe 1, a front surface frame 2 located at a front surface portion of a carbody 10 and having a lower end portion coupled to the underframe 1, and a buffer member 3 coupled to the front surface frame 2 and extending toward a vehicle interior side. Then, the buffer member 3 is provided at a position higher than the underframe 1.
Kawasaki Heavy Industries and West Japan Railway Company | Date: 2010-03-25
A railcar that includes an underframe, a front surface frame located at a front surface portion of a carbody and having a lower end portion coupled to the underframe, and a buffer member coupled to the front surface frame and extending toward a vehicle interior side. Then, the buffer member is provided at a position higher than the underframe.
Kawasaki Heavy Industries and West Japan Railway Company | Date: 2010-04-21
A bodyshell of a railcar includes side outside plates, end bodyshells, and guiding plates. The side outside plate are located at both end portions of a carbody in a vehicle width direction. The end bodyshell includes an end outside plate and a corner post. The end outside plates are located at both end portions of the carbody in the longitudinal direction. The corner posts are located at four corners of the carbody. The corner post is joined to the adjacent end outside plate and the adjacent side outside plate. The guiding plate is provided at the side outside plate so as to cover the corner post from a vehicle exterior. The guiding plate includes an inclined portion and a joining portion. The inclined portion is provided in front of the corner post and inclined to the rear side toward the side outside plate.
Kawasaki Heavy Industries and West Japan Railway Company | Date: 2010-03-25
A bodyshell of a railcar includes side outside plates and end bodyshells. The side outside plates are respectively provided at both end portions of an underframe in a vehicle width direction. The end bodyshell includes end outside plates and corner posts. The end outside plates are respectively provided at front and rear end portions of the underframe. The corner posts are respectively provided at four corners of the underframe and are joined to the end outside plates and the side outside plates. Moreover, the corner post includes a side plate joining portion. The side plate joining portion overlaps a front end portion of the side outside plates from an outer side in the vehicle width direction and is joined to the side outside plate.
Yokoe T.,West Japan Railway Co.
Nihon Kikai Gakkai Ronbunshu, C Hen/Transactions of the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers, Part C | Year: 2010
Railway drivers are trained the measures about various troubles faced during driving, and they can usually operate appropriately in the training. However, they can't meet an actual trouble calmly when they face it, so that they can take another mistake. As a part to examine support plan to prevent such an effect, we carried out a survey for all train drivers in our company, for example about their experiences and feelings in trouble caused by their own mistake or not, besides measures how they will manage an inexperienced trouble, and supports what they want to demand when they lost calmness.
West Japan Railway Company, Akuacom and University of Tokyo | Date: 2011-10-12
[OBJECT] To supply a method to detect omen of the derailment which is high precision and easy to apply to a vehicle. [SOLUTION] To detect a pitch angle velocity and a roll angle velocity of a running chassis by a sensor attached to the frame of a chassis, and determine a potential for derailment when the pitch angular velocity or multiplication value of the pitch angular velocity of the chassis is greater than the pre-set threshold, and when the roll angular velocity or multiplication value of the roll angular velocity of the chassis is greater than the pre-set threshold.
Akuacom, University of Tokyo and West Japan Railway Company | Date: 2016-04-13
The pitch angular velocity of a truck and the roll angular velocity of the truck which have been detected by an angular velocity sensor (5) provided in a train in order to detect the pitch angular velocity and roll angular velocity of the traveling train are stored in a memory (32), the predicted value of the roll angular velocity after a lapse of a predetermined time is calculated on the basis of the history of the roll angular velocity, when the pitch angular velocity of the truck, which has been detected by the angular velocity sensor, and the predicted value of the roll angular velocity exceed preset threshold values, respectively, a derailment sign of the train is determined, and when the derailment sign is determined, the derailment sign is reported to the outside.