Kato News July , August , September

Based on the famous AC locomotive ED75, the car body length was extended to accommodate a steam generator (commonly known as SG) for heating passenger cars, and a non-powered intermediate bogie was added to accommodate the increased car body weight caused by the SG's water and fuel loading. Although it is a D-type, it has a large body comparable to that of an F-type locomotive, and by adjusting the air spring pressure of the intermediate bogie, it can enter lines with lower track standards. The 500 series was introduced in 1968 for use between Otaru and Takikawa on the Hakodate Main Line, which was the first electrified section in Hokkaido, and has been active in central Hokkaido since then as the electrified section has been extended. Even after the transfer to JR, it was used to pull 14-series passenger car sleeper trains and 50-series 51-type passenger car local trains, and was particularly distinctive for its large dedicated headmark on the sleeper express trains "Daisetsu" and "Rishiri".


The DD51 Late for cold regions "Hokutosei" (Northern Star) is indispensable for the limited express sleepers running through Hokkaido. The DD51 was manufactured as a diesel locomotive that meets performance, comparable to the passenger C59 and freight D51 steam locomotives as the flagship of JNR power modernization. Incorporating the image of the sleeper limited express "Hokutosei", which entered service after the opening of the Seikan Tunnel in 1988, which was succeeded by JR Hokkaido, after the summer of the same year, the color of all aircraft was changed to the blue 20 wearing a gold belt. Due to the reduction of passenger trains, the number of cars has gradually been scrapped, and the last five cars have retired due to the end of normal operation of the Cassiopeia in March 2016.



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