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International Railroad Discussion > Doctor Yellow Fun (Japan)


Date: 12/11/22 08:32
Doctor Yellow Fun (Japan)
Author: cchan006

Doctor Yellow is the nickname for the inspection train operated by JR Central (Central Japan Railway Company) and JR West (West Japan Railway Company). There are total of 2 sets, T4 belonging to JR Central and T5 belonging to JR West. More details on the English wikipedia entry:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_Yellow

(I'll post a report on JR East's E926 "East i" later, which I caught in 2017. It's mentioned in the wikipedia)

I did a lot of research before I caught Dr. Yellow in 2015, reports which I posted here on TO. Using the information gathered, I pulled off a "nab Dr. Yellow 5 times in a day" to start my May 2016 JR Rail Pass trip on my way to Kurashiki, day before I visited the Mizushima Seaside Railway and caught the 500 Type EVA Shinkansen.

I'm onboard Shinkansen Hikari #511, looking out the windows as my train is pacing Keihin-Tohoku Line midday rapid service passing Yurakucho Station, next station south of Tokyo. My view is suddenly blocked by a yellow Shinkansen.

After I detrained Hikari #511 at Maibara and headed to the rear of the train, the foamer-friendly conductor (who was going to highball Dr. Yellow) talked me because he knew exactly what I was about to do. He told me the exact time Dr. Yellow was going to pass us, and as expected, Dr. Yellow ran on the precision schedule of Nozomi Extra #335.

On my first catch in 2015, I detrained a stop before at Gifu-Hashima, and captured a Dr. Yellow meet with a Kodama train going the other way. This time I wanted to be on Dr. Yellow's tail, so I chose Maibara instead, nabbed it, and hopped right back on Hikari #511. That strategy paid off as I was able to nab Dr. Yellow running the opposite direction (east) at Shin-Osaka, where it was heading to the Torikai Facility for a "debriefing." You can see people still detraining Hikari #511 at Shin-Osaka in the video.

I stayed at Shin-Osaka for a meal break, then waited for Dr. Yellow to return from Torikai Facility about an hour later, and nabbed it the 4th time.

I had to run to hop onboard Sakura #563 to get ahead of Dr. Yellow. I detrained at Fukuyama (2 stops west of Okayama, 1 stop west of Shin-Kurashiki) and caught Dr. Yellow taking the curve at speed, for the 5th and final catch.

It's almost a sure thing when Doctor Yellow runs west, that it returns east to Tokyo on the next day. Many railfans in Japan who don't want to deal with the uncertainty of catching the westbound run go for the eastbound run the next day, after seeing social media posts from the risk takers the day before. I already took the risk and caught it 5 times on the westbound run, so I knew it was going to meet 500 Type EVA at Aioi on my previously posted report.

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Date: 12/12/22 10:58
Re: Doctor Yellow Fun (Japan)
Author: dschlegel

Very interesting, thanks for posting!

Dan

Posted from iPhone



Date: 12/12/22 11:30
Re: Doctor Yellow Fun (Japan)
Author: PHall

Maybe when the original Amtrak Acelas are retired from service Amtrak can have their own "Doctor Yellow".



Date: 12/12/22 11:48
Re: Doctor Yellow Fun (Japan)
Author: icancmp193

With 5 sightings, you should have plenty of good luck!

TJY



Date: 12/12/22 15:35
Re: Doctor Yellow Fun (Japan)
Author: ChrisCampi

Are these trains truly as quite running at speed as the videos make it seem?



Date: 12/12/22 18:29
Re: Doctor Yellow Fun (Japan)
Author: Orient

Amtrak would seize up and stop in beurocratic red tape and paperwork if any of their trains ever pulled into a station that fast.

Posted from Android



Date: 12/13/22 11:36
Re: Doctor Yellow Fun (Japan)
Author: symph1

Orient Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Amtrak would seize up and stop in beurocratic red
> tape and paperwork if any of their trains ever
> pulled into a station that fast.

There is NOTHING that compares to being in a Shinkansen station when an express flies through!
(Heading back to Japan to se my grandkids in 2 weeks)



Date: 12/13/22 23:18
Re: Doctor Yellow Fun (Japan)
Author: cchan006

PHall Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Maybe when the original Amtrak Acelas are retired
> from service Amtrak can have their own "Doctor
> Yellow".

There's #10003, Acela Geometry Car. I got lucky in 2009 when I recorded videos of Acela's high speed running at Kingston, Rhode Island, and caught #10003 as part of the "rare" 7 car set (instead of 6). I didn't post the video on TO, and my YouTube videos are not searchable, so I might have to find my original clips and eventually post them here.



Date: 12/13/22 23:24
Re: Doctor Yellow Fun (Japan)
Author: cchan006

ChrisCampi Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Are these trains truly as quite running at speed
> as the videos make it seem?

They aren't quiet, but they aren't loud, unless you are underneath, for example at a station's ticketing area below the tracks. When a Shinkansen passes above at speed, there's violent rumbling for about 2-3 seconds and then it's suddenly quiet.

Residents who live near the ROW have demanded sound barriers, and elevated structures often have walls up to window level of the cars for noise mitigation.



Date: 12/13/22 23:27
Re: Doctor Yellow Fun (Japan)
Author: cchan006

Orient Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Amtrak would seize up and stop in beurocratic red
> tape and paperwork if any of their trains ever
> pulled into a station that fast.

Here's some comparable commotion from Amtrak Acela's high speed running at Mansfield, Massachusetts:

https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?2,1941784

Amtrak was a better organization back in 2009.



Date: 12/13/22 23:30
Re: Doctor Yellow Fun (Japan)
Author: cchan006

icancmp193 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> With 5 sightings, you should have plenty of good
> luck!
>
> TJY

The luck keeps piling on after my first catch in 2015! (More Japanese railfanning reports to come)



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