Left: Nagano area 1st livery, right: Nagano area 2nd livery
This is a reskin of Keinchiro’s 113 Series upgraded by Hirochi. All the necessary dependencies are included in this package or are avaible on the DLS.
115 Series trains were introduced in the Nagano Area in 1977 to replace the old, outdated and inadequate 80 Series trains, wich were formerly in service on the Tokaido Line before they were replaced by the 113 Series (the 115 Series’s warm-areas-only variant) in the 1960s.
The 115s were initially assigned at the Matsumoto depot and depoloyed on the Oito Line, with their services being later extended to the Shin’etsu Main Line and the Shinonoi Line, and finally, with the whole fleet being reassigned to Nagano depot.
These were all fitted in the “Shonan” livery of dark green and orange, and after the privatization of JNR, in 1987, the Nagano Area 115 Series fleet was split between JR East and JR Central.
In 1992, JR East decided to repaint it’s 115s (to distinguish them from JR Central’s ones, wich retained the Shonan Livery) into a new white, green and dark red livery, called “Nagano Livery”.
Ten years later, in 1997, the Nagano Shinkansen was opened in time for the Nagano Winter Olympics of 1998. The new Shinkansen line branched off the Joetsu Shinkansen at Takasaki and terminated at Nagano, replacing the tortuous and difficult Shin’etsu Main Line, especially the Usui Pass section, wich was abandoned in late 1997.
At the same time, the Nagano prefecture formed the Shinano Railway, wich was tasked to take over local services on the truncated remains of the Shin’etsu Main Line between Karuizawa (at the northern end of the abandoned Usui Pass) and Shinonoi stations (with all trains continuing to Nagano Station).
To operate the line’s services, Shinano Railway inherited part of the Nagano depot’s 115 Series fleet, a total of 16 3-car sets wich were repainted in the company’s colors of dark red and dark grey between 1997 and 1999.
Meanwhile, to improve it’s image before the Winter Olympics, in 1997 JR East also started to repaint it’s Nagano Depot 115s into a more modern white, blue and light blue livery, called the “Second Nagano Livery”, wich completely replaced the old Nagano area one (and the Shonan one) a few years later.
In 2015, the Shinkansen (now rebranded as the “Hokuriku Shinkansen”) was extended from Nagano to Kanazawa, replacing yet another portion of the Shin’etsu Main Line, wich was again transferred to Shinano Railway, now becoming the “Kita-Shinano Line”.
Like 18 years before, to run local services on the newly-acquired Kita-Shinano Line, Shinano Railway inherited another twelve 115 Series 3-car sets, wich, togheter with the introduction of new train types by JR East (such as the E127-100 Series and the 211-3000 Series) further thinned Nagano depot’s fleet.
Surplus trains in the 2nd Nagano Area livery were also used as “reinforcments” for the Mitaka-based 115 Series trains, and in a few rare cases, Nagano-area-liveried trains also run the “Musashino” rapid services on the Musashino Line in Tokyo, quite far away from their “territory” of the Nagano and Yamanashi prefectures.
On the 15th of October 2019, Set N15, the last remaining JR East 115 Series set in the Nagano Area, made it’s last run, ending yet another era.
115 Series trains in the 2nd Nagano Area livery did manage to run for a very brief time on the Usui Pass Section of the Shintetsu Mainline before it closed on the 1st of October 1997.