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Playart HO Scale Series 0 Shinkansen (4-Car Set)

As luck would have it, I managed to stumble across this set a model train/toy swap meet over the weekend. I'd never seen anything by Playart before and was not expecting to see a HO Scale Shinkansen. I purchased a bit of track with it as I had only had N Scale on hand.

0 Series Shinkansen Passenger coupling Close up

I gave it a quick run on some flex-track with a 12v supply I had lying around. It was noisy, but for something of its age, moved quite well.

End car front bogies Rear dummy Both end car end bogies

Both end cars pick up power through their front bogie and both have internal lighting. It seems to be a standard incandescent light bulb and it actually lights up the entire nose of the train... makes it look very toy-ish... I would actually stop this from happening if I was to run these full-time, but I have no HO layout.

Comparison to N Scale Comparison to N Scale Top down

Either way, this is a cool set... and I was very impressed to find out that some company (I believe they are French?) made this back in the 70s/80s. As written underneath, they were made in Hong Kong.

Car One Car Two Car Three
Car Four

It turns out that the company also made a Series 485 EMU which reminds me of the Kita Kinki in Kansai.

There was also an Endou Vista 3-Car EMU in N Scale which I couldn't recognise (looked like something Kintetsu or Meitetsu...) which I'll try and pick up next time... information on it is here, here, here and here. And yes, it's Kintetsu.

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  1. I thought I was the only one that had this train. I’ve got it in both JR and Amtrak markings. I wish someone would do more Shinkansen in HO.

  2. The European manufacturer who produced the similar Shinkansen was Lima, based in Vicenza in Italy. I can tell you that, apart from the side windows, the Lima and Playart versions are identical (Lima made theirs with long windows). I have two sets – an early version with the couplers similar to yours, and a later version (boxed) with Lima’s close-coupling assymetric couplers that they used on sets like the Intercity 125, the TGV power cars and the German “Donald Duck”.
    I have photos – I wish I could post them.

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