MARS (ticket reservation system)
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MARS (マルス Marusu), which stands for Multi Access seat Reservation System, is a train ticket reservation system used by the railway companies of former Japanese National Railways, currently Japan Railways Group (JR Group) and travel agencies in Japan.
The host of the system is located in Kokubunji, Tokyo and managed by Railway Information Systems Co., Ltd. (JR Systems), a JR Group company jointly owned by the seven members of the group. Most of the MARS equipment are manufactured by Hitachi.
Ticket offices at JR stations equipped with MARS terminals are called Midori no Madoguchi (みどりの窓口, literally "green window"), selling tickets for all JR Group trains with reserved seats beginning one month prior to the ride.
The MARS-1 system was created by Mamoru Hosaka, Yutaka Ohno, and others at the Japanese National Railways' R&D Institute, and was built in 1958. It was the world's first seat reservation system for trains. The MARS-1 was capable of reserving seat positions, and was controlled by a transistor computer with a central processing unit consisting of a thousand transistors.
The latest version of MARS uses the MARS 501 system which was introduced in 2002.
Preserved MARS-1 mainframe at Railway Museum, Saitama