Thursday, July 31, 2014

Happy Yellow Train on the Keikyu Line

Keikyu's "Happy Yellow Train", 1057F of the EMU 1000 series stands at Shinagawa Station
What is the lucky color in your country? Perhaps, green and yellow are lucky colors for Brazilians. Sky blue and yellow must be for Ukrainians, judging from its national flag. Are red and white Japanese people's lucky colors? I don't necessarily think so. Currently, yellow seems to be a lucky color for Tokyoites.

In Tokyo, it is said that a person who rides a yellow colored train will obtain happiness. I don't know exactly why such kind of a rumor is being spread by Tokyoites, but it's probably because yellow colored trains are rare in this city. In 2011, Toei (Tokyo Metropolitan Government) and Tokyu jointly launched a special campaign to boost passenger numbers by using their rare yellow colored rolling stock. These two operators recommended riding yellow colored trains to obtain happiness.

Following Toei and Tokyu, Keikyu launched the "Happy Yellow Train" this year. It is set number 1057F of the EMU 1000 series commuter train. As you may know, Keikyu's corporate color is red. Most of the Keikyu trains are known as red ones; however, the body of Happy Yellow Train is painted yellow, which is similar to those of traditional Seibu trains, such as the 2000N series. Using the Happy Yellow Train, Keikyu is promoting the scenic Miura Peninsula, Tokyo International Airport and so on to passengers. Keikyu recommends Tokyoites ride the Happy Yellow Train to obtain happiness.

I hope that Happy Yellow Train brings about a breath of fresh air to Tokyoites.

EMU Keikyu 1000 series (standard color) arrives at Shinagawa Station

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Enoden 300 Series: Retro Train on the Shonan Coast

Set number 305-355 of the EMU Enoden 300 series leaves Inamuragasaki Station
I have introduced the Enoden's retro-looking train, the EMU 10 series and the 20 series. I am going to show you the real retro train, the EMU Enoden 300 series next.

Enoden, Enoshima Electric Railway, is a local tram line connecting Fujisawa and Kamakura cities. Its operating length is only 10km. The 300 series was launched in 1956 as Enoden's first articulated train. A total of 6 sets, 12 units, have been manufactured, but today, only one set, two units, are at work. The only survivor, set number 305-355, was manufactured in 1960 by Toyoko Sharyo. The body was originally from the Keio 2000 series. Its bogies were newly manufactured by Tokyu Sharyo. I'm particularly fond of the large "forehead" and two large rounded front lights.

The 300 series is the most Enoden-like train, because it is often carried on TV dramas and commercials. It has a telegenic appearance. The two-tone body fits the historical street-scape in Kamakura City. It also stands out against the background of the blue Pacific Ocean and the green mountain forest that surrounds the city.

I know that the Enoden on TV is beautiful, but the true beautiful scene on the Enoden is seen in reality. In 1998, a boy suffering from cardiomyopathy visited Enoden's Gokurakuji Rail Yard. He was delighted to drive a train himself with the company's special grace. Four days after the boy fulfilled his life's dream, he passed away quietly.

It is a true story.

Set number 305-355 of the Enoden 300 series runs on the shared track near Koshigoe Station

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Photogenic Spot for Rail Fans

EMU Odakyu 2000 series travels on the Odawara Line
The Japan Meteorological Agency made an announcement that this year's rainy season ended on July 21st in the Tokyo metropolitan area, which means summer has begun. Although it is very hot outside, I enjoy visiting my favorite spot on the Odakyu Line. It is a photogenic spot for taking pictures of trains shining in the sun without being distracted by overhead wire poles.

Firstly, I am going to show you the EMU 2000 series, my favorite model on the Odakyu Line. It was launched in 1994 to replace old models such as the 2600 series. A total of 9 sets, 72 units, have been manufactured so far by Nippon Sharyo, Tokyu Sharyo and Kawasaki Heavy Industries. The 2000 series is similar to the 1000 series, but the 2000 has wider doors (1,600mm) and LED displays on the front. The silver stainless steel body with a blue stripe is very beautiful under the summer sunshine.

Secondly, the following photo was taken just before a rain shower. It was the EMU 8000 series, also my favorite model, as the last of the fully painted steel body commuter trains on the Odakyu Line. It was launched in 1982 to reinforce Odakyu's commuter trains fleet. A total of 32 sets, 160 units, have been manufactured over 6 years by Nippon Sharyo, Tokyu Sharyo and Kawasaki Heavy Industries. Its major assignment is as an express train to transport commuters from the western suburbs to the city center of Tokyo.

2014 summer season has only just begun.

EMU Odakyu 8000 series travels on the Odawara Line