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"Doctor Yellow" Test Shinkansen Trains Set for Retirement

"Doctor Yellow" Test Shinkansen Trains Set for Retirement

   Tokyo, June 13 (Jiji Press)--Iconic test trains nicknamed "Doctor Yellow," used to monitor conditions of tracks and overhead wires for Japan's Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen bullet train lines while traveling, are set to retire due to their aging, to the disappointment of train lovers in the country, including children.
   Central Japan Railway Co., or JR Tokai, and West Japan Railway Co., or JR West, said Thursday that they plan to end Doctor Yellow operations in January 2025 and in 2027, respectively.
   The Doctor Yellow trains, known for their bright yellow exterior with a blue stripe, are operated between Tokyo Station, one of the terminals for the Tokaido Shinkansen Line, and Hakata Station in the southwestern prefecture of Fukuoka, one of the terminals for the Sanyo Shinkansen Line, for track and overhead wire inspections. The two high-speed train lines are connected seamlessly at Shin-Osaka Station in Osaka Prefecture, western Japan.
   JR Tokai and JR West currently own one Doctor Yellow train each.
   The popular test Shinkansen trains are operated once about every 10 days. But their operational schedules are not made public, making it rare to see them in operation or at stations. It is therefore said mainly among train enthusiasts that those who see Doctor Yellow will become happy.

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