The Limited Express Nikko 8 is another rare through-service limited express train jointly operated by JR East and Tobu Railway, similar to the crossing into each other’s companies tracks for the train route like the SPACIA Kinugawa that I took. It is one of just four trains daily which works on such a cross-line service, and the only one out of all of them which heads from Nikko. With most rail passes, the Limited Express Nikko requires an additional fee due to the unique arrangement, but my JR TOKYO Wide Pass covers it fully.
Heading into the platforms at Tobu-Nikko Station through the manned lane with my JR TOKYO Wide Pass.
The departure information at the platform area.
The Aizu Mount Express was departing first from the non-Limited Express platform.
The Aizu Railway AT-700 series DMU at Tobu-Nikko Station. The AT-700 series is the successor of the Meitetsu KiHa 8500 series which is now in Sabah operating on the Sabah State Railway (JKNS).
A Tobu Nikko Line Local train for Shimo-Imaichi is also standing by.
Heading to the Limited Express platforms.
The Limited Express trains depart from Platforms 5 or 6.
The empty set for my Limited Express Nikko 8 is arriving.
To cross to Platforms 5 and 6, take the path around the buffers.
My Limited Express Nikko 8 train arriving at Tobu-Nikko Station.
The LED headboard still shows the destination as Out Of Service.
The Limited Express Nikko is operated by JR East using a 253 series EMU which formerly operated on the Narita Express service.
The station sign and Tobu Railway route information at Tobu-Nikko Station.
Boarding the JR East Limited Express Nikko 8 at Tobu-Nikko Station.
The interior of the Limited Express Nikko with blue seats.
At the front of the coach, there is a single seat with wheelchair-stowing facilities.
All other seats are arranged in a 2+2 formation.
At the end of the coach, there are some old window layouts which I think was where a conductor room was located.
The super generous legroom on board the Nikko 253 series.
The seat pitch on board the Nikko 253 series is 1.1 meters.
A side flip-out table is also available to place small items such as an Onigiri or a canned drink.
The interior of another car of the Limited Express Nikko with orange seats instead.
Some features from its former Narita Express era are still available such as this multi-purpose room usually used for changing.
A generous luggage rack is also available by the side of the train doors.
A wash basin area is provided near the toilets.
A male urinal cubicle is available.
The general toilet is also universally accessible.
The overview of the toilet area on board the Nikko 253 series.
Departing from Tobu-Nikko Station.
Taking a right curve out of the station.
Unfortunately for me, I am seated in Seat 1A of Car 2 so I have this strange conductor window positioning for my seat.
The LED destination indicator is reminiscent when the train was still the Narita Express 253 series.
Approaching the junction to Tobu Kinugawa Line.
Arriving at Shimo-Imaichi Station.
The earlier Aizu Mount Express now coupled with a AT-600 series DMU forming a longer train.
Making a brief stop at Shimo-Imaichi.
Departing from Shimo-Imaichi.
Goodbye SL Taiju.
Goodbye DL Taiju.
Goodbye Dream Car.
Heading down the Tobu Nikko Line.
The scenery on the way to Shin-Kanuma.
The small windows by the ex-conductor room seats.
Making a brief stop at Shin-Kanuma.
Heading down to Tochigi.
Approaching Tochigi on the elevated tracks.
Making a brief stop at Tochigi, interchange with the JR Ryomo Line.
Departing from Tochigi Station.
Heading down the Tobu Nikko Line.
Crossing the Tone River.
Approaching Kurihashi Station, leaving the Tobu Railway sector.
Entering the transfer line between the Tobu Railway and JR East.
Making a brief stop for crew exchange.
The platform for the Tobu Railway and JR East drivers to exchange duties.
Departing from Kurihashi Station on to the JR East tracks.
Heading on towards Tokyo on the Tohoku Main Line.
Time for a toilet break.
Push the button to open doors.
The interior of the universally-accessible toilet.
The door lock consist of an electronic button lock and a physical latch on the door.
Arriving at Omiya Station.
Making a brief stop at Omiya Station.
Heading out of Omiya Station with the Shinkansen viaducts beside.
Crossing with a freight train hauled by a EH200 locomotive.
Overtaking a Keihin-Tohoku Line train.
Heading to Tokyo as the sun sets.
Heading into the Yamanote Freight Line.
Running beside the Saikyo Line.
Making a brief stop at Ikebukuro.
My reserved seat Limited Express train beside a crowded Shonan-Shinjuku Line train.
Passengers who are unable to board the first crowded train queuing up to get on the next train.
Continuing down to Shinjuku.
Approaching Shinjuku after the junction from the Chuo Main Line.
Running beside a Azusa E353 series EMU heading into Shinjuku as well.
Arriving in Shinjuku.
Disembarking at Shinjuku. The journey from Tobu-Nikko to Shinjuku takes 1 hour and 57 minutes.
Here, the train set goes out of service for the day.
Heading out of the Limited Express platform to the concourse.
Overall, a pleasant ride on the Limited Express Nikko 8 with the super generous legroom and efficient cross-line journey.