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