The 0 Series Shinkansen were the first train sets built to run on Japan's new high speed rail network, and are therefore still the image of the Shinkansen in the minds of most non-Japanese because of all the publicity they received when the first Shinkansen line began operation in 1964.

Shinkansen Series 0

Shinkansen Series 0

The 0 series (which were not originally so classed; there was no need to distinguish classes of train set until later) entered service with the start of Tokaido Shinkansen operations in 1964. These units were white with a blue stripe along the windows and another at the bottom of the car body, including the front pilot. The story goes that the noses were styled after the Douglas DC-8 airliner, and certainly the resemblance is apparent.

Unlike previous Japanese trains, the Tokaido Shinkansen and all subsequent Shinkansen were standard gauge (4'8", 1,435 mm between the rails). The trains are all powered by 25 kV AC electricity at 60 Hz. On the 0 series, all axles of all cars are powered by 185 kW traction motors; this is sufficient for a 220 km/h (136 mph) top speed.

The original trains were 12-car sets; some subsequent sets were 16 cars. Later, shorter trains of 6 cars and even 4 cars were assembled for lesser duties. Production of 0 series units continued from 1963 until 1986.

Existence as a Shinkansen train is tough; though most rail equipment has a service life of thirty or more years, Shinkansen sets are tired after fifteen, and they are generally removed from service after that point. All 0 series cars are now past fifteen years of service; therefore, few are left. The only 0 series sets now in use are 6 car sets used on JR West Kodama services between Shin-Osaka and Hakata, and on the Hakata Minami Line, which is technically not a Shinkansen line. Outside of Japan, the leading vehicle from a 0 series set can be found at the British National Railway Museum in York, which was donated by the JR West company in 2001.

The pictures shown here are from the very first Shinkansen Series 0 set which is now on display at the Modern Transport Museum Osaka.

Shinkansen Series 0

Shinkansen Series 0

(Article based on Wikipedia article and used under the GNU Free Documentation License)



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