Spotted at Sendai Station!
Test run of the new E8 series for Yamagata Shinkansen
On the day I had some business in Sendai, my son’s kindergarten happened to be closed. So, I took my son with me to Sendai Station to kill some time. It was around the same time I had encountered Alfa-X and East i before, so I thought if we were lucky, we might come across something interesting. And that’s exactly what happened…
We stumbled upon the new E8 series for the Yamagata Shinkansen,
which is still undergoing test runs and has not yet carried any passengers. It was a rare sighting, and we were thrilled!
From News to Reality: Seeing the E8 Series Shinkansen
On a clear day, we took my son, who loves Shinkansen trains, to Sendai Station and bought tickets for the platform. We were aware that only non-service trains were scheduled to pass through platform 14 for about two hours that day.
While we were on platform 14, we watched the trains pass by and took selfies with the Shinkansen train in the background. We also bought some tea from a vending machine
“The E8 series Shinkansen entered the platform.”
After spending about 20 minutes like that, we heard an announcement about a non-passenger train coming through the platform.
Since there weren’t many passengers around, the station was deserted. As we waited to see what kind of train it would be, a dazzlingly bright Shinkansen train with headlights different from the others appeared.
It was the E8 series undergoing test operation!
We were able to admire the E8 from up close
What are the features of the E8 series?
Although it is not yet available for passengers to ride, it is said that this train is capable of running at high speeds (up to 300 km/h) and is comfortable.
The train body is made of aluminum alloy and is developed based on the existing E6 series, but modifications have been made to suit the characteristics of the Yamagata Shinkansen line. For example, heaters have been installed in the lower part of the train body for snow countermeasures.
Furthermore, all trains are equipped with “full active suspension” to ensure stable running. Inside the train, every seat has a power outlet and there are more barrier-free seats, making it an even more comfortable Shinkansen. Expectations are rising for this new train.”
What is the design of the E8 series like?
In terms of appearance, the front end inherits the arrowline shape from the E6 series, but it has been shortened with the aim of increasing capacity.
The exterior is color-coordinated in the following order: “Oshidori Purple” (a shade of purple), “Benibana(Safflower) Yellow” (a shade of yellow), and “Zao Bianco” (a shade of white). The design follows the one introduced in the E3 series.
Logo marks and other decorations found in the E5 series, H5 series, and N700 series are not installed on the E8 series. I wonder if it will remain that way even when it is put into actual use?
Looking at it up close, I felt that the design is more sophisticated than the current E3 series.
Summary: When will we be able to ride the E8 series?
The E8 series Shinkansen is scheduled to begin commercial operation in spring 2024. Although its introduction was announced in 2020, we can finally see it now. In about a year, we might be able to enjoy riding this new Shinkansen during the late cherry blossom season in Yamagata, which falls around April or Golden Week. It’s exciting to think about it.
I believe traveling on the Tohoku Shinkansen with this train will be faster and more comfortable than ever before. I can’t wait for next spring!