Shinkansen Relay

The Shinkansen Relay (新幹線リレー号?) was a train service operated by Japanese National Railways (JNR) in Japan between 1982 and 1985.

When the Tōhoku Shinkansen was opened in June 1982, the planned section between Ueno in Tokyo and Ōmiya was not complete, with shinkansen services starting and terminating at Ōmiya Station. The Shinkansen Relay was therefore provided to shuttle passengers between Ueno and Ōmiya via the narrow gauge Tōhoku Main Line. Initially, 13 down and 14 up services operated daily, taking 26 minutes for the non-stop journey. From November 1982, the frequency was increased to 28 down and 29 up services daily, running at 30-minute intervals during the daytime off-peak. Services consisted of pairs of 7-car 185-200 series EMUs, providing a total seating capacity of 848. One Shinkansen Relay service served a pair of Tōhoku Shinkansen and Jōetsu Shinkansen services. Express 455 series and suburban 115 series EMUs were also used on some trains.

The Shinkansen Relay service ended on 13 March 1985, the day before the Tōhoku Shinkansen opened between Ueno and Ōmiya. The 185-200 series EMUs were reassigned for use on other Limited express services such as the Kusatsu.

Read more about Shinkansen Relay:  Rapid Shinkansen Relay (1998–2001), Rapid Shinkansen Relay (April 2011)

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