Railfans Happy as Doctor Yellow Will Continue "Checkups"
Nagoya, Aug. 17 (Jiji Press)--Rare and popular track and overhead wire inspection Shinkansen trains, nicknamed Doctor Yellow, are seen continuing their operations in and after 2020, relieving children and rail enthusiasts in Japan who had been worried that they might be decommissioned in the not-so-distant future.
Currently, there are only two active Doctor Yellow trains--one owned by Central Japan Railway Co. <9022>, better known as JR Tokai, and the other by West Japan Railway Co. <9021>, or JR West.
The nickname comes from their yellow body color and as they are often called "doctors for Shinkansen bullet trains."
Due to their rarity, it is said that those who catch sight of the yellow inspection trains can become happy. Some even wait around for a chance to take pictures of them although their operating schedules are not released to the public.
The seven-car trains have onboard measuring instruments, designed to detect rail distortion and check overhead wires, and signal and other systems. They check the facilities while traveling at high speeds, and if any abnormality is found, Doctor Yellow will automatically send the information to the Shinkansen operation center.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]