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Track Record: ‘Doctor Yellow’ train opens doors to public for 1st time

Courtesy of JR Tokai
People photograph a “Doctor Yellow” Shinkansen train at Tokyo Station on Wednesday.

Members of the public were allowed to ride a “Doctor Yellow” Shinkansen train for the first time on Wednesday and Thursday.

The trains, which inspect tracks and overhead wires, are named for their diagnostic functionality and vivid yellow bodies.

As part of the special two-day event — organized by Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) — passengers rode between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka stations on one of two round-trips. It was the first time since the Nagoya-based company was established in 1987 for members of the public to be on board a Doctor Yellow train while it was running.

The event was heavily oversubscribed, with about 20,000 people applying for 200 tickets.

The participants were able to visit the “observation dome,” from where overhead wires are inspected while the train is operating, according to the company.

After the event, a woman in her 50s, said, “Japanese technology is amazing,” while a woman in her 20s said, “I feel that we can ride the Shinkansen safely thanks to Doctor Yellow’s thorough inspections.”

The event was held to celebrate more than 10 million people joining an online, Shinkansen-related service offered by the company.