Cruise Train on rails

Posted on March 23, 2018 by Rolf Behrens, Images by Copyright(C) East Japan Railway Company All Rights Reserved.

Superlative in every respect, the Train Suite Shiki-Shima is powered by electricity generated by two mtu Series 4000 engines on non-electrified routes.

Operated by Japanese rail concern East Japan Railway Company (JR East), the “Train Suite Shiki-Shima” is a Cruise Train – a veritable superyacht among excursion trains. Superlative in every respect, the Train Suite Shiki-Shima is powered by electricity generated by two mtu Series 4000 engines on non-electrified routes. 

The Train Suite Shiki-Shima is appropriately liveried in Shiki-Shima Gold, this unique approximately 213-metre-long cruise train caters for a maximum of 34 guests in six sleeper cars and additionally offers a lounge compartment, a dining car and two observatory cars, one each at the head and rear ends of the train. The entire vehicle was created using only the finest handcrafted materials with highlights such as Japanese cypress wood bathtubs in the two rooms for the highest class of Shiki-Shima Suite and 2nd highest class of Deluxe Suite. 

Copyright(C) East Japan Railway Company All Rights Reserved.
Copyright(C) East Japan Railway Company All Rights Reserved.

For those interested in technical superlatives, the vehicle’s drive configuration is even more fascinating. Whether travelling on electrified routes or on stretches of track without overhead power lines, the Train Suite Shiki-Shima is able to complete its 2- to 4-day excursion tours through Northern and Eastern Japan virtually uninterrupted as the driver switches between cable power and diesel-electric drive at the touch of a button. When no overhead power line is available, two 12V 4000 R43L mtu diesel engines with a total output of 3600 kW located in the head and rear-end cars cut in to generate electricity for the drive motors. And, as is fitting in the realm of superyachts, the two engines on board the Train Suite Shiki-Shima are very likely the only mtu rail engines with chrome-plated cylinder-head covers.  

Interview with Kenichi Shibanuma, JR East Assistant Manager, about the Train Suite Shiki-Shima Project  

Why did JR East choose mtu products for its prestigious Train Suite Shiki-Shima project?

Train Suite Shiki-Shima is a cruise train. Therefore we have very strict requirements on all fields to satisfy the expectations of our customers. This means we also needed a high-performance engine for this project. It had to offer high reliability, high power density and environmental friendliness at the same time. Low noise emissions and absence of black smoke also were a very important factor for choosing the mtu engines.

What do you appreciate about working with mtu?

mtu has been a committed and trusted partner from the beginning. At a very early stage of the project, mtu was already able to give us detailed information about the engine which was very helpful during the basic design phase. Later on, the presence of mtu engineers in detailed discussions was very important for our further design work. We also very much appreciate the quick responses of the company Tominaga & Co., Ltd., which supplied the engines to us, during the project phase and during operations.

How important is mtu’s contribution to the success of the Train Suite Shiki-Shima project?

We are very pleased with the reliability of the mtu engines, especially after experiencing it in operations. Since the start of commercial service, Train Suite Shiki-Shima has been very successful. The operations are running smoothly and strictly to schedule – this is also possible thanks to the reliability of the engines.
The content of the stories reflects the status as of the respective date of publication. They are not updated. Further developments are therefore not taken into account.

Point of contact

Fabian Baumann
+49(7541)90 2616

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