|Class 952/953 "STAR21"|
Preserved cars 953-5 and 953-1 at Sendai Shinkansen Depot, July 2009
|Manufacturer||Hitachi, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Nippon Sharyo|
|Number built||9 vehicles|
|Number in service||None|
|Number preserved||3 vehicles|
|Number scrapped||6 vehicles|
|Line(s) served||Tohoku Shinkansen, Joetsu Shinkansen|
|Car body construction||Aluminium alloy|
|Width||3,100 mm (10 ft 2 in)|
|Maximum speed||350 km/h (217 mph) (nominal)|
|Electric system(s)||25 kV AC, 50 Hz|
|Current collection method||Overhead catenary|
"STAR21" was the name given to the Class 952/953 (952・953形?) 9-car experimental Shinkansen train developed in 1992 by the East Japan Railway Company (JR East) in Japan to test technology to be incorporated in next-generation shinkansen trains operating at speeds of 350 km/h (217 mph) or higher. The name was an acronym for "Superior Train for the Advanced Railway toward the 21st Century".
The train consisted of nine cars arranged in two distinct "halves", with the Class 952 half-set consisting of four separate vehicles, and the Class 953 half-set consisting of five articulated vehicles using shared bogies.
Three different construction methods were used for the vehicle bodies. Cars 1 to 3 used welded hollow aluminium extrusions, cars 4 to 5 used brazed aluminium honeycomb panels, and cars 6 to 9 used an aircraft-style Duralumin fuselage construction.
The front-end design of the two driving vehicles (952-1 and 953-5) were slightly different, although both used a wedge-shaped profile with little lateral taper.
The external livery was light green for the Class 952 cars (including half of car 953-1), "snow" grey for cars 953-1 to 953-3, and beige for cars 953-3 to 953-5, with a light blue window band throughout the length of the train.
Internally, cars were fitted with passengers seats, arranged 2+2 abreast for standard class cars, and 2+1 abreast for the Green car (952-4). Five different types of lightweight seating design were tested.
|Vehicle length (mm)||26,250||25,000||25,000||25,000||22,250||18,500||18,500||18,500||25,500|
Cars 3 and 7 were fitted with pantographs.
On 30 October 1992, the train recorded a Japanese national speed record of 353.0 km/h (219.3 mph) on the Jōetsu Shinkansen between Urasa and Niigata, surpassing the record previously set by JR West's "WIN350" experimental train in August of the same year. On 1 November 1992, the record was raised to 358.0 km/h (222.5 mph) between Tsubame-Sanjō and Niigata.
In 1993, the train was modified with the addition of motors to all axles, increasing its overall rating to 4,620 kW (6,200 hp).
On 13 December 1993, the train reached 400 km/h (248.5 mph), and on 21 December recorded a Japanese national speed record of 425.0 km/h (264.1 mph) on the Jōetsu Shinkansen between Tsubame-Sanjō and Niigata. This record stood until it was broken by JR Central's "300X" experimental train in July 1996.
End car 952-1 is preserved outdoors at the RTRI large-scale wind tunnel test facility in Maibara, Shiga, first displayed to the public on 10 October 1998. Cars 953-1 and 953-5 are preserved at Sendai Shinkansen Depot. A DT9035B bogie from the train was donated in June 1998 by Sumitomo Metal Industries to the Nara National College of Technology in Nara, where it is kept on display.
Car 952-1 preserved at Maibara, July 2006
Car 953-1 preserved at Sendai Shinkansen Depot, August 2002
Sumitomo DT9035B bogie preserved at Nara National College of Technology, June 2012
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