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Super Ōzora

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Title: Super Ōzora  
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Subject: Inter-city rail, Tilting train, Sapporo Station, Minami-Chitose Station, Sekishō Line, Chitose Line, Higashi-Oiwake Station
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Super Ōzora

Super Ōzora
KiHa 283 series DMU on a Super Ōzora service, January 2007
Service type Limited express
Locale Sekishō Line
First service 1961 (Ōzora)
1997 (Super Ōzora)
Current operator(s) JR Hokkaido
Former operator(s) JNR
Start Sapporo
End Kushiro
Average journey time 3 hours 35 minutes
Service frequency 7 return services daily
Rolling stock KiHa 283 series DMU
Track gauge
Electrification Diesel
Operating speed 130 km/h (81 mph)

The Super Ōzora (スーパーおおぞら?) is a limited express train service between Sapporo and Kushiro in Hokkaido, Japan, operated by Hokkaido Railway Company (JR Hokkaido). There are seven trains per day running in both directions, with the fastest journeys taking 3 hours 35 minutes.[1]


The service commenced as the limited express Ōzora (おおぞら?) on 1 October 1961, operating between Hakodate and Asahikawa using KiHa 80 series DMUs with one return working daily. The service was extended to run between Hakodate and Kushiro from 1967. By 1973, there were three return workings daily. In October 1980, following the opening of New Chitose Airport, services were reorganized, with just one return working daily between Sapporo and Kushiro. From October 1981, the train was rerouted via the Sekishō Line, reducing journey times by approximately one hour.[2] From 22 March 1997, four Ōzora services were upgraded to become Super Ōzora following the introduction of new KiHa 283 series tilting DMUs.[1] The remaining Ōzora services using KiHa 183 series DMUs were phased out by 2001.

Rolling stock

  • KiHa 80 series DMUs
  • KiHa 183 series DMUs (1980–2001)
  • KiHa 283 series Tilting DMUs (Super Ōzora from 1997)

2011 derailment and fire

On 27 May 2011, the Super Ōzora 14 service from Kushiro to Sapporo was brought to an emergency stop inside the 685 metre-long No. 1 Niniu Tunnel in Shimukappu, Hokkaidō, at around 21:55 after car number 2 of the 6-car formation became derailed. The train caught fire, and all of the 245 people on board, including train staff eventually evacuated the train. 39 were treated for smoke inhalation and minor burn injuries.[3] The burnt-out train was removed from the tunnel on 29 May 2011.[4]


External links

  • JR Hokkaido official website (Japanese)
  • JR Hokkaido official website (English)
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