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Osaka – Super Rail Cargo

I've tried before, but always failed. The Super Rail Cargo is an express EMU freight service that runs in the middle of the night and is a hard one to photograph. Turns out though, that Japan doesn't do daylight-savings. Therefore, in summer, in the wee hours of the morning, one has a good chance of seeing this thing on the move.

One service leaves Tokyo whilst the other leaves Osaka, around the same time, nearly every night of the week. I've never tried to hunt down the Tokyo end, as it's sorta out-of-the-way down past Shinagawa. Fortunately, the Osaka side passes through Umeda, on it's way towards (and along) the Tokaido Main Line.

The Stake Out - Fukushima Station

This train runs from Ajikawaguchi yards, along the Yumesaki Line, joins the Loop Line at Nishikujo, passes Noda and then heads north where it branches off the loop at Fukushima. It's even at road-level and there's a level-crossing, so you get an advance notice of anything approaching.

I used my freight timetables as posted here to know when it might arrive. It was my last morning in Osaka, a Tuesday, and I wasn't going to miss it this time.

I was staying in Tennoji and awoke at 4am. There were no train services at that time, so I found a taxi and asked to go to Fukushima Station. The driver alerted that there was nothing to be gained in going there, but I actually stated that I hoped to take a photo and he chuckled and agreed that it was OK.

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It was around 4:40am and indeed still dark.. but I was very happy to have the sun rising.. although on the wrong side for a good shot. There were lively characters coming out of Karaoke venues or bars, but also people making their way to work.

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At 5:05am, the booms triggered and an EF66 with a short rake appeared. It seems this would be ▲59 making it's way from Suita. I think I still had my polariser on at this point, not really knowing the best way to shoot in low light. Hence the photos are quite dark.

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A loop line service came through at 5:12am... meaning that I could've slept in a little later and taken it from Tennoji. There was no way I was going to risk that timing though.

Either way... The gates then activated again and the M250 came through!

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Not the best photos... but for the first time I saw the actual service in flight; whilst I had a camera ready. Success!

26Jul/150

Osaka Freight: Suita to Ajikawaguchi (Super Rail Cargo)

This line is an extension of the Suita to Umeda freight/express-train line that runs from Shin-Osaka Station to the Umeda Freight Yards.

suita-to-ajikawaguchi

This line continues further south-west, rising back up to the height of the kanjosen and then branching off on the Yumesaki Line to Universal Studios Japan. Before this though, is Ajikawaguchi freight yards. The home of Sagawa Transport's M250!

This freight train is famous... it's actually an EMU high-speed express freight service that runs through the night to get your urgent deliveries to Tokyo. The opposing service departs Tokyo at the same time and they pass somewhere half-way along the Tokaido Main Line in the middle of the night.

Due to its timetable, you'll really only ever see it resting in the Ajikawaguchi yard. Sometimes I've seen it photographed in the early morning at the Tokyo end, but never really in daylight when moving.

Due to this, I still haven't managed to properly photograph this train. I've seen it depart Ajikawaguchi once and you can find a post with a movie of the departure over here.

Rail-set Train

The last column on each table is a rail-set train. I've seen this pass before from an assortment of locations.

EF210-5 with two flatbeds EF210 departs Umeda Yards Freight from Sakurajima
Freight heading to Sakurajima Station Freight approaching Noda Station Freight approaching Noda Station

Ajikawaguchi

This area is difficult to photograph, but there is a large level crossing on which you can gently walk into the middle of and take photos. Just be very considerate and respect the requests of staff if they ask you to get out of the way!

Super Rail Cargo in Sakai Yards EF210 in Sakai Yards Sesame Street 103 Series to Universal Studios

Timetables

As per previous Osaka timetables, all times are up until Suita. I'll look into extending the SRC through to Tokyo at a later date.

Southbound Suita Ajikawaguchi
Service Origin Arrive Depart Arrive Comments
▲51 Tokyo –– 0511 0526 ▲ = 日曜日運休 (Not Sundays)
▲59 Tokyo –– 0451 0510 ▲ = 土 or 休日運休 (Not Saturdays or Holidays)
(4078) ~ (1081) ~ 91 Sendai ºº0723 0833 0900 ºº = ??
▲93 Osaka 1102 1111 1157 ▲ = 月曜日運休 (Not Mondays)
(1881) ~ 1883 Kyoto 1447 1603 1628 Rail-set or 'other' cargo.
Northbound Ajikawaguchi Suita
Service Depart Arrive Depart Destination Comments
▲50 2309 –– 2324 Tokyo ▲ = 日曜日運休 (Not Sundays)
▲58 2259 2320 2328 Tokyo ▲ = 土 or 休日運休 (Not Saturdays or Holidays)
▲90 1703 1739 1742 Osaka ▲ = 日曜日運休 (Not Sundays)
5088 ~ (3089) 1818 ºº1851 1944 Sendai ºº = ??
1180 ~ (1182) 1040 ºº1127 1225 Kyoto ºº = ??
Rail train or 'other' cargo.

I will go back and get the Super Rail Cargo once more!