Glitch strands luxury sleeper train during Nikko test run

Kyodo, JIJI

Engine trouble stranded a luxury, all-suite sleeper train during a test run on the JR Nikko Line for four hours, affecting nearly 2,000 passengers on other trains, JR East said.

The 10-car Train Suit Shiki-Shima was on a test run Monday when an engine trouble sign flashed on the operator’s monitor, forcing the driver to halt the train. The train had left Tokyo’s Ueno Station at around 2 p.m.

The driver resumed the test when no problems were found but was forced to stop again at around 3:50 p.m., JR East said.

The train returned to a rail yard in Tokyo later in the day. JR East officials are investigating the incident.

The Shiki-Shima (Four-season Island), which cost ¥5 billion to build, will begin commercial operations in May.

The train, which can accommodate 34 passengers, includes a diner, a lounge and a cypress bathtub. It will travel to popular tourist spots, including Nikko and other areas in the Kanto region as well as destinations in the Tohoku region and Hokkaido. JR East plans to offer two- to four-day trips. Tickets will cost ¥320,000 to ¥1,155,000 per person.

All tickets for the train have been booked through November.