The Noto (能登) was a seasonal overnight express train service in Japan operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East), which runs between Ueno Station in Tokyo and Kanazawa via the Shinetsu Main Line and Hokuriku Main Line. The journey takes approximately seven hours.[1] The train was operated as a regular daily service by West Japan Railway Company (JR West) until 13 March 2010, with operations transferred to JR East from this date. While JR East has not formally announced its discontinuation, no services have operated since February 2012.[2]

JR East 485 Express Noto.jpg
A seasonal Noto service formed of a JR East 485 series EMU in May 2010
Service typeExpress
LocaleTōhoku Main Line, Jōetsu Line, Shinetsu Main Line, Hokuriku Main Line
First service22 September 1959
Last service2012
Former operator(s)JNR (1959–1987)
JR West (1987–2010)
JR East (2010–2012)
Service frequency1 return working daily (seasonal)
On-board services
Rolling stock485 series EMUs
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification1,500 V DC overhead
Operating speed120 km/h (75 mph)

Rolling stockEdit

Trains were formed of 6-car 485 series electric multiple units (EMU) owned by JR East and based at Niigata depot.[3] All seats are reserved.[4]


The 6-car 485 series sets based at Niigata are formed as follows, with car 1 at the Ueno and Kanazawa end (trains reverse en route at Nagaoka).[5]

Car No. 1 2 3 4 5 6
Numbering KuRoHa 481 MoHa 484 MoHa 485 MoHa 484 MoHa 485 KuHa 481
Accommodation Green Reserved Reserved Reserved Reserved Reserved Reserved
Facilities   Toilet Toilet Toilet Toilet Phone / Toilet Toilet

Past rolling stockEdit

From 1982 onward, services were formed of eight 14 series coaches, consisting of three B-type 3-level berth sleeping cars and five seating coaches. These services were hauled by a Tabata-based JNR Class EF62 electric locomotive between Ueno and Naoetsu, and by a Nagaoka-based JNR Class EF81 electric locomotive between Naoetsu and Kanazawa.[6]

From March 1993, the locomotive-hauled trains were replaced by 9-car JR West 489 series EMUs based at Kanazawa depot, formed as shown below.[7][8]

Car No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Numbering KuHa 489 MoHa 488 MoHa 489 SaRo 489 MoHa 488 MoHa 489 MoHa 488 MoHa 489 KuHa 489
Accommodation   Reserved (Women-only)   Reserved   Reserved   Green   Non-reserved   Non-reserved   Non-reserved   Non-reserved   Non-reserved
Facilities Toilet Toilet Toilet Phone / Toilet Toilet Lounge area Toilet Toilet Toilet


The Noto name was first used from 22 September 1959 for express services operating between Tokyo and Kanazawa via Maibara, introduced to supplement the existing Hokuriku services connecting Tokyo and the Hokuriku region.[9][7] The "down" working departed from Tokyo Station at 20:30, arriving in Kanazawa at 08:44, and the "up" working departed from Kanazawa Station at 18:00, arriving in Tokyo at 06:25.[7] Initially, the trains were formed of seven cars (three sleeping cars and four seating cars), but from 1962, trains were increased to 13-car formations.[7]

Following the opening of the Tokaido Shinkansen between Tokyo and Osaka in October 1964, ridership of the Noto decreased, and from October 1965, Noto services ran in conjunction with Yamato services.[7] The services were discontinued from the start of the 1 October 1968 timetable revision.[10]

The name was resurrected from the start of the timetable revision on 10 March 1975 for use on overnight services between Ueno and Kanazawa via the Joetsu Line, replacing one return Hokuriku working.[9][7]

From 15 November 1982, following the opening of the Joetsu Shinkansen, Noto services were re-routed via the Shinetsu Main Line, and the ageing rolling stock was replaced with newer 14 series cars.[7]

From 1987, the "down" service was extended to run to Wakura-Onsen on the Nanao Line during busy seasons, using JNR Class DE10 diesel locomotive haulage, but this was discontinued from March 1990.[6][7]

From October 1997, following the opening of the Nagano Shinkansen and severing of the Shinetsu Main Line at Karuizawa, the Noto services were re-routed via the Joetsu Line.[7]

Regular daily Noto services were discontinued on 13 March 2010.[11][12] The Noto, however, continued to operate as a "seasonal" service during holiday periods.[13]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "JR Timetable" October 2009 issue
  2. ^ たかが臨時されど臨時 [Even seasonal trains are seasonal]. Chunichi Web (in Japanese). Japan: The Chunichi Shimbun. 17 March 2012. Archived from the original on 15 May 2012. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  3. ^ JRグループ 2010(平成22)年3月13日ダイヤ改正概要 [Summary of JR Group 13 March 2010 Timetable Changes]. Tetsudō Daiya Jōhō Magazine. Vol. 39 no. 310. Japan: Kōtsū Shimbun. February 2010. p. 96.
  4. ^ JR East new release: "春の増発列車のお知らせ" (Details of spring additional services) (21 January 2010). Retrieved 13 March 2010. (in Japanese)
  5. ^ JR電車編成表 2012冬 [JR EMU Formations - Winter 2012]. Japan: JRR. October 2011. p. 35. ISBN 978-4-330-25611-5.
  6. ^ a b JR急行・快速列車 [JR Express & Rapid Trains]. Tokyo, Japan: Railway Journal. 2 November 1991. p. 50.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i Teramoto, Mitsuteru (July 2001). 国鉄・JR列車名大辞典 [JNR & JR Train Name Encyclopedia]. Tokyo, Japan: Chuoshoin Publishing Co., Ltd. pp. 432–433. ISBN 4-88732-093-0.
  8. ^ JR新幹線&特急列車ファイル [JR Shinkansen & Limited Express Train File]. Japan: Kōtsū Shimbun. 2008. p. 136. ISBN 978-4-330-00608-6.
  9. ^ a b 列車名鑑1995 [Train Name Directory 1995]. Japan: Railway Journal. August 1995. p. 128.
  10. ^ Kekke, Yoshiyuki (Spring 2004). "現役急行列車ガイド" [Guide to Express Trains Still in Operation]. Jtrain. Japan: Ikaros Publications. 13: 12–15.
  11. ^ "平成22年春ダイヤ改正について I" [Spring 2010 Timetable Revision] (PDF). Press release (in Japanese). West Japan Railway Company. 18 December 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 December 2009. Retrieved 18 December 2009.
  12. ^ 夜行列車「能登」「北陸」3月で廃止 乗客減、役目終え ["Noto" and "Hokuriku" night trains to be withdrawn in March]. Toyama Shimbun (in Japanese). Japan. 10 December 2009. Archived from the original on 14 December 2009. Retrieved 18 December 2009.
  13. ^ 平成22年【春】の臨時列車の運転について [Additional services for Spring 2010] (PDF). Press release. West Japan Railway Company. 22 January 2010. Retrieved 23 January 2010.