JR Kyushu has announced the long-awaited debut of its new Shinkansen “Kamome” service between Nagasaki and Takeo Onsen on September 23rd this year. This new six-car bullet train will run on the Kyushu Shinkansen’s newly expanded western route.
“Kamome” which means seagull was previously the name of a limited express train running between Nagasaki and Hakata. Now passengers will be able to take the Shinkansen Kamome from Nagasaki to Takeo Onsen and then transfer directly to a limited express “Relay Kamome” service to travel to Hakata. While the Limited Express Kamome took 2 hours to cover the distance between Nagasaki and Hakata, the new combined service should take just 90 minutes. Passengers will also be able to transfer directly at Takeo Onsen by simply crossing the platform to change trains.
Tickets will be sold as “Hakata-bound” or “Nagasaki-bound” so that passengers can buy just one train ticket to travel on both shinkansen and limited express services on this route. This current arrangement is temporary however, as eventually the plan is to expand the shinkansen route all the way between Takeo Onsen and Hakata.
Between Nagasaki and Takeo Onsen the Kamome will make stops at Isahaya, Shin-Omura, and Ureshino Onsen, with new stations built at Shin-Omura and Ureshino Onsen for this purpose.
From September 23rd there will be a total of 47 Shinkansen Kamome services. There will be 44 services running between Nagasaki and Takeo Onsen and three commuter trains will run between Shin-Omura and Nagasaki.
The new Kamome is a modified N700S series with three reserved and three non-reserved cars in each train. The train’s exterior is painted in striking red and white with gold highlights. Inside the train has a 2+2 pattern of seating in reserved seating cars and a 2+3 pattern in non-reserved cars. Both the exterior and interior of the train was designed by the award-winning industrial designer Eiji Mitooka. For further details of the train’s design and technological features please see our previous article: JR Kyushu’s New Kamome Train for the Nagasaki Shinkansen.
Please visit the official Shinkansen Kamome webpage for timetables and other travel details.
Article by Michael Lambe. Images courtesy of JR Kyushu. All rights reserved.