What is 0 series shinkansen?

The trains were the first generation Shinkansen trainsets built to run on Japan's Tōkaidō Shinkansen high-speed line which opened in 1964.1 The last remaining trainsets were withdrawn in 2008.


The 0 series (which were not originally classified, as there was no need to distinguish classes of trainset until later2) entered service with the start of Tōkaidō Shinkansen operations in October 1964. These units were white with a blue stripe along the windows and another at the bottom of the car body, including the front pilot.

Unlike previous Japanese trains (except for some trains running on standard gauge sections on the Ou Main Line and Tohoku Main Line) the Tōkaidō Shinkansen and all subsequent Shinkansen lines are between the rails. The trains were powered by 25 kV AC electricity at 60 Hz with all axles of all cars powered by 185 kW traction motors, giving a operation top speed.

The original trains were introduced as 12-car sets, with some sets later lengthened to 16 cars. Later, shorter trains of six cars and even four cars were assembled for lesser duties. Production of 0 series units continued from 1963 until 1986.

Shinkansen sets are generally retired after fifteen to twenty years. The final remaining 0 series sets were six-car sets used on JR-West Kodama services on the San'yō Shinkansen between and , and on the Hakata-Minami Line until their retirement on 30 November 2008.

Following retirement from regular service, JR-West ran a number of special commemorative Hikari runs in December 2008.3 Hikari 347, powered by set R61,4 arrived at Hakata Station at 6:01 pm on 14 December 2008, bringing to an end the 44 years of service of the 0 series trains.

Set formations

Original 12-car H/K/N/R/S sets

A 0 series set in Tokyo in May
1967 Interior of a 1st class car in May
1967 Analog speed display in the passenger
compartment The initial shinkansen fleet delivered for use on Hikari and Kodama services on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen from 1 October 1964 consisted of 30 12-car sets formed of 1st- and 2nd-batch cars. Six sets, H1 to H6, were built by Hitachi between April and August 1964, six sets, K1 to K6, were built by Kisha between July and September 1964, six sets, N1 to N6, were built by Nippon Sharyo between March and September 1964, six sets, R1 to R6, were built by Kawasaki Sharyo between July and September 1964, and six sets, S1 to S6, were built by Kinki Sharyo between April and August 1964.5 These sets were allocated to Tokyo and Osaka depots.6

A further 10 12-car sets (H7/8, K7/8, N7/8, R7/8, S7/8) were delivered between April and July 1965, formed of 120 3rd-batch cars, five 4th-batch sets were delivered between June and July 1966, and five 5th-batch sets were delivered between October and November 1966.7

The original 12-car sets were formed as follows, with two first-class cars (type 15 and 16) and two buffet cars (type 35).8

Car No.123456789101112

12-car H/K/N/R/S/T Kodama sets

A further 21 6th- to 9th-batch 12-car sets were delivered between 1967 and 1969 with only one first-class car (type 16) for use on Kodama services. The "T" sets were built by Tokyu Car Corporation.9

These sets were formed as follows.10

Car No.123456789101112

16-car H/K/N/R/S Hikari sets

The original 30 12-car sets were lengthened to 16 cars between December 1969 and February 1970 with the inclusion of new 10th-batch cars for Hikari services to handle the increased number of passengers travelling to and from Expo '70 in Osaka in 1970. From the opening of the San'yō Shinkansen in 1972, these sets were renumbered H1 to H30.11

Car No.12345678910111213141516

16-car K Kodama sets

The bulging nose of a 0 series train at Tokyo Station in July
1982 Between 1972 and 1973, the earlier 12-car Kodama sets were lengthened to 16 cars with the inclusion of new 13th- and 15th-batch cars, and were renumbered K1 to K47.12

Car No.12345678910111213141516

16-car H Hikari restaurant car sets

With the opening of the Sanyo Shinkansen extension to Hakata, the fleet of 16-car H Hikari sets was reformed and increased between 1973 and 1974 with the inclusion of new 16th- and 17th-batch cars, including new restaurant cars (type 36) in addition to the buffet car (type 35). The fleet as of 10 March 1975 consisted of 64 sets, numbered H1 to H64.13

Car No.12345678910111213141516

16-car N<sub>H</sub> Hikari sets

A 16-car N<sub>H</sub> Hikari set in May
1989 Between 1977 and 1980, 35 new 16-car N<sub>H</sub> sets were formed of −1000 subseries cars (batches 22 to 29) for Hikari services on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen and San'yō Shinkansen lines. The introduction of 100 series and later 300 series trains reduced the number of 0 series trains used on Hikari services, with 0 series Hikari services operated by JR Central ending in 1995. A small fleet was subsequently maintained by JR-West for use on additional holiday period Hikari services, with the last remaining unit, N<sub>H</sub>32, being disbanded in December 1999.

The N<sub>H</sub> sets had two Green (first class) cars and a restaurant car in addition to a buffet car, although use of the restaurant cars was discontinued from the mid-1990s.

Car No.12345678910111213141516

File:Shinkansen 15-1019 01.jpg|Interior of Green car 15-1019 of set N<sub>H</sub>15 in 1982 File:Shinkansen 25-526 01.jpg|Interior of standard class car 25-526 of set N<sub>H</sub>15 in 1982 File:0 series NH restaurant car 19920817.jpg|Interior view of an NH set restaurant car in 1992

16-car Y<sub>K</sub> sets

![16-car set Y<sub>K</sub>8 on Tokaido Shinkansen Kodama service with "Arigatō 0 Series" sticker on final day of services, 19 September 1999](JRC-TEC-0.jpg "16-car set YK8 on Tokaido Shinkansen Kodama service with "Arigatō 0 Series" sticker on final day of services, 19 September 1999") The 16-car Y<sub>K</sub> sets were operated by JR Central on the all-stations Kodama services. These sets had upgraded reserved seat cars with 2+2 seating employing 100 series style seats, but only one Green car per 16-car set. Standard seating was 3+2 in standard class, and 2+2 in Green cars.

The fleet was operated by JR Central on the Tokaido Shinkansen until the last units were withdrawn on 18 September 1999. In the last two months of service, they ran with "Arigatō 0 Series" stickers on the front ends.

Car No.12345678910111213141516


File:0-yk-green.jpg%7CInterior of a Green car on a YK set in September 1999

12-car S<sub>K</sub> sets

Set SK5 on a West Hikari service in March
1997 !["West" logo on an SK set in March 1997](0_series_SK_West_Hikari_logo_199703.jpg ""West" logo on an SK set in March 1997") These 12-car S<sub>K</sub> sets based at Hakata Depot were operated by JR-West on Sanyo Shinkansen West Hikari services between Shin-Osaka and Hakata. Sets were formed of upgraded 5000 and 7000 subseries vehicles with improved seating, and buffet cars were refurbished with a special seating area. All standard class cars had upgraded 2+2 seating. The sets were recognizable externally by the addition of an extra thin blue line below the windows (similar to 100 series) and by the large "West" decals near the doors. Some sets originally included specially converted cinema cars, but these were withdrawn in 1996. Following the end of the West Hikari services on 21 April 2000, the remaining S<sub>K</sub> units were reformed into new 6-car R60 sets to replace unrefurbished sets on Sanyo Shinkansen Kodama services.

Car No.123456789101112

4-car Q sets

Set Q4 at Hakata on a Sanyo Shinkansen Kodama service in July
1998 4-car Q sets were formed from March 1997 for use on Kodama shuttle services running between Hakata and /, and also for use on some Hakata-Minami Line duties. These sets had no Green car. The last remaining unit was withdrawn in September 2001.14 Set Q3 remained as a static training set at Shin-Shimonoseki Station until 2009, when it was replaced by 100 Series set P2.15

Car No.1234

6-car R sets

![Set R61 in new JR-West "Kodama" livery at Higashi-Hiroshima Station on a Sanyo Shinkansen Kodama service in July 2003](R61_Kodama_635_Higashi-Hiroshima_20030719.JPG "Set R61 in new JR-West "Kodama" livery at Higashi-Hiroshima Station on a Sanyo Shinkansen Kodama service in July 2003") !["Children's Saloon" logo in March 1997](0_series_R24_37-7731_Family_Hikari_Children's_Saloon_logo_Nishi-Akashi_199703.jpg ""Children's Saloon" logo in March 1997") The 6-car R units with no Green car were first formed in June 1985, and were used on JR-West Kodama services between Shin-Osaka and Hakata. They were also used to operate services on the short Hakata-Minami Line from Hakata Station.

The no. 3 cars of sets R2 and R24 were rebuilt as "Children's Saloons" with the former buffet counter area converted into a children's soft play area. These sets ran branded as "Family Hikari" during holiday periods. From March 1997 a refurbishment programme was commenced on the R sets, with new internal trim, rotating seats and new toilets/washing facilities. The refurbished units were recognisable externally by an extra thin blue line below the windows (as with West Hikari S<sub>K</sub> sets), and new "W" decals near the doors.

From April 2000, 6-car "WR" sets were created from former S<sub>K</sub> unit cars and renumbered in the R60 series. These retained the larger buffet area (disused) and 2+2 seating of the former West Hikari trains, and gradually replaced the remaining unrefurbished R sets. These units initially retained their "West Hikari" branding, but were gradually repainted into the new JR-West "Kodama" livery from May 2002. Initially scheduled to be withdrawn in 2006, the last three remaining sets (R61/R67/R68) remained in service until 30 November 2008. By June 2008 they had been repainted into their original ivory and blue livery with silver roofs.

Car No.123456


File:0 series R61 interior 20030719.JPG|2+2 seating in set R61 in July 2003 File:0 series R62 37-7302 Himeji 20020518.jpg|Interior of former buffet car 37-7302 in set R62 used as a general lounge area in May 2002

Preserved examples

A large number of former 0 series vehicles are preserved or stored in museums and various other locations around Japan. Outside Japan, the leading vehicle from a 0 series set is preserved at the National Railway Museum in York, UK. It was donated to the museum by JR-West in 2001.16

Vehicle numberDate builtDate withdrawnLocationRemarks
16-1March 1964March 1977Preserved at the Kyoto Railway Museum, which opened in April 2016. (Formerly displayed at the Modern Transportation Museum in Osaka.)17Cars from pre-production "C" set H1.18
35-1August 1964Cars from first production set H2.
21-2July 1964The Railway Museum, SaitamaFrom original set H2. Moved from Osaka in August 2008. Exhibited from October 2009.19
22-2JR-West Staff Training Centre, Suita, OsakaFrom original set H2.
21-25April 1964March 1978The Railway Museum, SaitamaCab section only. Originally displayed outside Tokyo Transport Museum.
22-56August 1967February 1982"Wine no Kuni" hotel, Ikeda, HokkaidōFront third section only.20
21-59March 1968Shintorimachi Park, Fuji, Shizuoka21 
21-73July 1969October 1984Shinkansen Park, Settsu, Osaka22
22-75August 1969March 1985Ome Railway Park, Ome, TokyoRepainted for short period into Tohoku ivory/green livery in late 1980s.23
22-77September 1969March 1990Satsuki Kindergarten, FukuokaUsed as a staff room and library.24
36-841975 SCMaglev and Railway Park, Nagoya25
21-86December 1971November 1991
22-86JR Central Hamamatsu Works26
21-100September 1973October 1991Akishima City Library, Akishima, TokyoUsed as library reading room.27
21-141June 1976October 2000The Railway History Park in Saijo, Ehime Prefecture28Former set H94, later R52. Front half only.29
22-141National Railway Museum, York, UKA gift from JR-West presented to the NRM in 2001.
22-1003November 1976November 1994Namikawa Railway Heritage Park, Kameoka, KyotoCab section only.30
21-2023January 1985June 1998J-TREC factory, YokohamaCab section only. Preserved at Sakuma Rail Park until November 2009. Moved to Tokyu Car from July 2010.31
22-2029March 1986September 1999Nippon Sharyo Factory, Toyokawa, Aichi32
16-20341986 SCMaglev and Railway Park, Nagoya33
21-5035 (formerly 21-1032)June 197810 March 2004Tainan HSR station, Tainan, TaiwanCab from former set R1. Used as structure gauging car during the construction of the Taiwan High Speed Rail until 2008. On display at Tainan HSR station from June, 2021.34
22-7007December 2008Suita Yard, Osaka PrefectureCab from former set R68. On display inside Suita City Kento Library since 11 November 2020.35
21-7008 (formerly 21-2026)1983December 2008Kawasaki Heavy Industries factory, Hyogo PrefectureCar of last operational set, R6136
21-7038Kawasaki Good Times World, within Kobe Maritime MuseumWest Hikari livery. Front third section.37


File:0 series 21-1 Kyoto Railway Museum 20161017.jpg|21-1 at the Kyoto Railway Museum in October 2016 File:JNR shinkansen 0kei 21-59.jpg|21-59 in Shintorimachi Park in Fuji, Shizuoka, in July 2013 File:新幹線公園SEC.jpg|21-73 at Shinkansen Park in Settsu, Osaka, in May 2006 File:0 Series Shinkansen SCMaglev and Railway Park001.jpg|21-86 at SCMaglev and Railway Park, Nagoya, in April 2013 File:0key22-86.JPG|22–86 at Hamamatsu Works in July 2006 File:JRshikoku tetsudo hobby train kiha32 3 0series 21-141.jpg|21-141 (left) at the Railway History Park in Saijo in December 2014 File:089-SFEC-YORK-20070827.JPG|22–141 on display at the National Railway Museum in York, UK, in August 2007 File:21-2023 J-TREC Yokohama 20131125.JPG|21-2023 preserved at the J-TREC factory in Yokohama in November 2013 File:TSHR Structure Gauge Test Car 01.jpg|21-5035 used as structure gauging car in Taiwan in August 2008 File:Shinkansen Series 0 car 21-7038.jpg|21-7038 at Kawasaki Good Times World in Kobe in July 2006

See also


External links

Original source: 0 series shinkansen. Shared with Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License


  1. Electric Trains for the New Tokaido Line Railway Gazette 5 February 1965 pages100-104

  2. National Railway Museum based article on the acquisition of the donated 0 series

  3. JR East press release: "鉄道博物館における0系新幹線車両の公開について" (8 June 2009). Retrieved on 8 June 2009. . Archived 10 June 2009.