‘Doctor Yellow’ bullet train opened to public


Four hundred rail fans had an opportunity to take a look at the inside of a rare, almost mythical, version of the bullet train nicknamed “Doctor Yellow” for the first time ever Saturday.

Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) held the event at its rail yard in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, to mark the 50th anniversary of the launch of the Tokaido Shinkansen Line.

The “doctor” part of the nickname comes from the train’s purpose, which is to check rails and overhead cables for abnormalities as the trains cruise the tracks at speeds of up to 270 kph.

About 45,000 pairs of people applied to view the inside of the yellow seven-car test train. Of them, 200 pairs were selected by lottery for the privilege, which opened up cars No. 4 to No. 7 for viewing.

Doctor Yellow runs only once in every 10 days or so and its timetable is not disclosed. Many rail fans even believe that a chance encounter with the train is a sign of good luck.

There are two Doctor Yellow trains on the Tokaido Shinkansen Line. One is owned by JR Tokai.