Rapid Marine Liner 44 from Takamatsu to Okayama Train Review
The Rapid Marine Liner is the main train link for Shikoku island via the Great Seto Bridge, plying between Takamatsu and Okayama. After lunch in Takamatsu, I got the Rapid Marine Liner 44 to head back to Okayama for an early dinner, before continuing on to Hakata. With my JR Sanyo-San’in Northern Kyushu Area Pass, I was also allowed to get a reserved seat on the Rapid Marine Liner in the unique JR Shikoku 5000 series double-decker car.
Heading in to Takamatsu Station.
The concourse of Takamatsu Station.
There was an issue with the ticket gates at Takamatsu Station as it kept rejecting my JR Sanyo-San’in Northern Kyushu Area Pass. However, the manual lane was opened and I simply showed the gate staff my JR Sanyo-San’in Northern Kyushu Area Pass physically for inspection before going through with no further issues.
My Rapid Marine Liner 44 was departing from Platform 5.
Rapid Marine Liner 44
Car 1 is now at the rear of the train when heading to Okayama.
For Car 1, the upper deck consists of Green Car seats in a 2+2 configuration with a padded headrest. The lower deck consists of ordinary reserved seats in a 2+2 configuration without a padded headrest.
My Rapid Marine Liner 44 was ready for boarding when I arrived. Perhaps the cleaning crew had a lot more time to clean up in Takamatsu with a longer layover.
The interior of the Rapid Marine Liner ordinary reserved seat. Seats are laid out in a 2+2 configuration.
The legroom available on board the Rapid Marine Liner ordinary reserved seat.
A coat hook is available on the seat back in front of me.
Unfortunately, this time, I got a window pane blocking my view.
The window of the lower deck sits below the platform level.
A luggage rack is available in the ordinary reserved seat section. Do note that there is no overhead luggage rack.
There are 2 single reserved seats on the level deck beside the toilets for universal access.
Going up the stairs to the upper deck, there are train models of themed JR Kyushu trains on display.
The interior of the Rapid Marine Liner Green Car. Seats are laid out in a 2+2 configuration.
Seats are more padded than the ordinary reserved seats. The upper deck view is the premium here.
A luggage rack is available in the Green Car section. Do note that there is no overhead luggage rack.
There are also 4 Green Car sears in front of the conductor’s cab. Seats are rotated to face the direction of travel, hence facing away from the glass rear.
A universally-accessible toilet is also available on board the Rapid Marine Liner reserved seat car. Green Car and reserved seat passengers share this toilet.
The interior of the Rapid Marine Liner non-reserved seat cars. Seats are laid out in a 2+2 configuration, but do not recline. Most seats can face the direction of travel by pushing the seat back to change the bench position.
This Rapid Marine Liner train is formed of 3+2 cars, with a walkthrough gangway available between the train cabs.
The front view of the Rapid Marine Liner 223-5000 series EMU. Car 5 is on the Okayama end.
Heading north to Okayama, the front view of the train can be enjoyed by everyone as it is in a non-reserved seat car.
My Rapid Marine Liner 44 departed from Takamatsu Station on time at 3.40pm.
Not the greatest view, first from a lower angle, and now a physically blocked view.
The conductor came round to match reserved seats with passengers on his phone, and with no discrepancies, the check along the lower deck took less than 10 seconds.
Making a brief stop at Sakaide Station.
Splitting off the wye junction to the Great Seto Bridge. The line on the left leads to the Yosan Line.
Approaching the straight track from the Yosan Line towards the Great Seto Bridge.
Great Seto Bridge
After Sakaide, the Rapid Marine Liner heads on to the Great Seto Bridge. The Great Seto Bridge is a series of double-deck bridges connecting Kagawa and Okayama prefectures across the Seto Inland Sea.
Heading out of Shikoku island.
Crossing the Seto Inland Sea.
Passing over a cargo ship.
Heading over Yoshima Island.
Making a brief stop at Kojima Station.
Making a brief stop at Chayamachi Station.
Making a brief stop at Hayashima Station.
Approaching Okayama Station.
Entering Okayama Station.
The cleaning crew bow to arriving passengers from the platform.
My Rapid Marine Liner 44 arrived at Okayama Station at 4.34pm – 2 minutes delayed.
This train will form the Rapid Marine Liner 47 back to Takamatsu.
Heading up the escalator to the Central Exit.
The Central Exit is well-signed.
The public area is also a long concourse which passengers can see the different sections of the station easily.
Heading down and out of Okayama Station.
The façade of Okayama Station.
Here, I explored a bit of Okayama just around the station and had dinner before boarding my next train, the Shinkansen Mizuho 613 to Hakata.
Okayama Electric Tramway
The Okayama Electric Tramway also departs from outside Okayama Station, but due to time constraints, I did not ride on it.
The Rapid Marine Liner is an interesting train with a double-decker car at the front of the train, and reserved seats for a comfortable ride. However, while the ride was comfortable, the views out of the lower deck windows were less than ideal, as I was just staring at concrete for the whole time when on viaducts. Luggage storage was also an issue with not enough storage racks on board the train car, with no overhead racks available due to height restrictions of the double-decker train car.
After skipping the novelty of the unique double-decker train car of the Rapid Marine Liner, it may be better to use the ordinary unreserved seat cars instead for level views out of the window and usage of overhead luggage racks.