Ginga (train)

Ginga (train)

The Ginga (銀河?) was an overnight express sleeper train operating on the Tōkaidō Main Line between Tokyo and Osaka in Japan. It was initially operated by Japanese National Railways (JNR) and, after its privatization in 1987, by West Japan Railway Company (JR West).

The Ginga followed a similar route to the much faster Tōkaidō Shinkansen high-speed line, and filled the overnight gap in the Shinkansen's timetable. While the last Osaka-Tokyo Shinkansen trains departed at 21:20 (in either direction, as of 2008), Ginga departed Osaka at 22:30 and Tokyo at 23:00, and arrives over an hour before the first Shinkansen arrival the next morning. This made it somewhat popular among business travelers who needed a later departure or earlier arrival than the Shinkansen could provide.

However, the numerous overnight buses on the Tokyo-Osaka route largely captured the budget traveler market, while late evening and early morning flights to Kansai Airport (which opened in 1994 and does not have the noise restrictions facing Osaka Airport) were now used by many business travelers who would otherwise have used Ginga. As a result, Ginga's ridership had fallen dramatically in recent years and finally the train was discontinued upon the March 15, 2008 timetable revision.

Read more about Ginga (train):  Rolling Stock, Stations, History

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Ginga (train) - History - Rolling Stock Upgrades
1976, the ageing rolling stock was replaced by more modern 20 series "Blue Train sleeping cars cascaded from the Tsurugi service between Osaka and Niigata, which had been upgraded to 24 ... From 14 March 1985, the Ginga20 series rolling stock was replaced by 14 series sleeping cars displaced by the use of 583 series EMUs on Kitaguni services ...