Limited Express Relay Kamome 25 from Hakata to Takeo-Onsen Train Review
Kamome is touted to be a Hakata-Nagasaki train service, but in reality, it is formed with 2 separate train journeys, with 1 on conventional lines, and 1 on the new Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen. My first leg from Hakata would be on the Limited Express Relay Kamome 25 to Takeo-Onsen, the interchange station for the Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen Kamome 25 onwards to Nagasaki. Relay Kamome trains are limited express trains operating at normal speeds, branded to connect with the Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen in a single timetable (passenger-facing) and a single ticket.
The concourse of Hakata Station.
As I had well and truly maxed out my seat reservations quota on the reserved seat ticket vending machine by this point of the trip, my seat reservations can only be made at the manned ticket counters. I made my reservation 2 days earlier before my journey to secure a reserved seat.
While this is also touted to be a Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen service, the Limited Express Relay Kamome 25 will depart from the local lines section of Hakata Station. Do not enter the Shinkansen section of Hakata Station.
The information screens at Hakata Station also displays the Limited Express Relay Kamome 25 as bound for “Nagasaki”.
While this is useful for those who know what’s going on already, I feel that this is quite misleading especially for first-timers and they get too comfortable when arriving at Takeo-Onsen not knowing that a cross-platform marathon to change trains was happening soon.
For the purpose of clarity, I will separate the 2 train journeys in 2 separate articles.
The Limited Express Relay Kamome 25 is also stated as an 8-car train bound for “Nagasaki”, which will not match up with the 6-car train waiting at Takeo-Onsen.
Heading up the escalator to Platform 4 where my Limited Express Relay Kamome 25 is departing from.
The station sign of Hakata Station.
Door positions are indicated on LED signs hanging from the ceiling along the platform.
My Limited Express Relay Kamome 25 is operated by a 787 Series EMU.
Relay Kamome 787 Series EMU Green Car
I first took a peek at the Green Car on board the Relay Kamome 787 Series EMU. Seats are laid out in a 2+1 configuration facing the direction of travel.
If travelling in a group, a private saloon on board the Green Car is also available for booking.
Relay Kamome 787 Series EMU Reserved Seat Car
I headed over to my booked Ordinary Car next.
Ordinary Car seats are laid out in a 2+2 configuration facing the direction of travel.
The legroom on board the Relay Kamome 787 Series EMU.
Instead of a normal overhead luggage rack, the 787 Series EMU has closeable overhead bins. This unfortunately restricts the size of baggage that can fit, and even my cabin-sized backpacks could not fit properly inside it without me having to squish it down.
Nevertheless, not wanting to squish my bags, the good legroom on board the Relay Kamome 787 Series EMU allows me to store my 2 backpacks on the floor, and would be more convenient for me to do my train transfer later on.
A tray table is available on the seat back in front of me.
The train formation can be found on the seat back behind the tray table. Interestingly, all configurations of the 787 Series EMU are displayed, instead of just showing this set only.
My Limited Express Relay Kamome 25 departed from Hakata on time at 11.52am.
Passing by an arriving Midori Huis Ten Bosch combined train.
Passing by a level crossing on the busy quadruple-tracked line.
Passing by Takeshita Depot.
The Kyushu Shinkansen tracks swing right after Takeshita.
Passing through Minami-Fukuoka Station and Depot.
Making a brief stop at Tosu Station.
Turning right to the Nagasaki Main Line.
Making a brief stop at Shin-Tosu Station.
Shin-Tosu Station is an interchange station with the Kyushu Shinkansen. If travelling from the Kyushu Shinkansen to the Nagasaki Main Line with connecting trains such as Limited Express Relay Kamome, Midori, or Huis Ten Bosch, changing trains at Shin-Tosu Station may offer a faster journey.
The mountainous scenery along the way.
Making a brief stop at Saga Station.
Crossing over the Kase and Gion Rivers.
More local scenery along the way.
Passing by familiar brands of AEON BiG and Daiso on approach to Takeo-Onsen.
Heading up the viaduct to Takeo-Onsen Station.
Heading straight in to Platform 10.
A rather unique operation is in place at Takeo-Onsen Station as the Limited Express Relay Kamome 25 enters Platform 10 for Shinkansen passengers, with the side to the local lines barricaded off. Usually, Limited Express will use local lines platform.
My Limited Express Relay Kamome 25 arrived at Takeo-Onsen Station on time at 12.53pm.
There is a connection time of only 3 minutes from the Relay Kamome 25 to the Kamome 25 departing at 12.56pm, but passengers were readily and orderly disembarking.
A simple cross-platform transfer is in place at Takeo-Onsen Station, offering the “through-service” connection between the Relay Kamome and Kamome trains.
I quickly snapped a photo of the Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen N700S-8000 series before hopping on board the Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen Kamome 25 onwards to Nagasaki in good time.