Saturday, February 18, 2017

Lucky Red Train on the Seibu Line

9003F of the Seibu 9000 series, Lucky Red Train, travels on the Ikebukuro Line

Trains painted with the other operators' colors are in vogue in Japan. They are Keikyu 2103F of the 2100 series and Tobu 208F of the 200 series, which are painted with the Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) colors in accordance with friendship and cooperation agreements between Keikyu/Tobu and TRA. One more example is Seibu 9003F of the EMU 9000 series, called the Lucky Red Train, painted with Keikyu colors. I am going to show you this unique train today.

The circumstances of the Lucky Red Train are as follows. In the early 2010's, one "toshi-densetsu (urban legend)" was spread by Tokyoites, rumoring that a person who rides a yellow colored train, will obtain happiness. I don't know exactly why such a toshi-densetsu was spread, but it was probably because yellow colored trains are rare in Tokyo. These rare examples were Toei 8810, Tokyu 306F and Keikyu 1057F.

Among these three yellow colored trains, Keikyu 1957F was similar with the color design of the old Seibu trains. Many rail-fans pointed that out for Seibu. That was Seibu's turn. On July 19th, 2014, Seibu Railways conversely launched a train, which was painted with the standard Keikyu colors, and named it the Lucky Red Train. That was the exchange of color designs and a mark of friendship between Seibu and Keikyu. Needless to say, the Lucky Red Train became popular among rail-fans.

The railway companies in the Tokyo metropolitan area are launching various colors of trains in order to please passengers and rail-fans.

9003F of the Seibu 9000 series, Lucky Red Train (Keikyu color)

Official information about Seibu Lucky Red Train (in Japanese):

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A Hint of Spring on the Enoshima Line

5011F of the EMU Shonan Monorail 5000 series arrives at Shonan-Fukasawa Station

Enoshima is famous for its temperate climate. It faces the Pacific Ocean to the south. The influx of the Kuroshio warm current influences this mild climate. We can see many flowers there even in winter. One of the well-known flowers is a weeping plum in Joritsu-ji temple. In Japan, plum is grown for fruit cultivation or just ornament. Weeping plum is a typical example of the latter. From January to February, the weeping plum tree in Joritsu-ji temple has many white blossoms. It heralds that spring is in the not-so-distant future. The plum blossoms are very beautiful backed by the blue sky.

To see this gorgeous tree, the nearest station is Shonan-Enoshima on the Shonan Monorail-Enoshima Line. The Enoshima Line was opened in 1974 between Ofuna and Shonan-Enoshima stations. The operating length is 6.6 km. The suspended system is adopted the same as the Chiba Urban Monorail Line and the Toei Ueno Zoo Line. The track is single and the electric system is 1,500 V DC. The EMU 5000 series is the only group of trains operated on the Enoshima Line. The top photo is 5011F, the 6th set of the 5000 series launched in 2015. It is easy to distinguish from the other trains, as it has black colored stripes.

Boarding the train, enjoy an aerial walk on the Enoshima Line!

Fully blossomed weeping plum tree in Joritsu-ji Temple near Shonan-Enoshima Station 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

5501F: Revival Colored Train on the Daiyuzan Line

5501F of the EMU Izu-Hakone 5000 series arrives at Sagami-Numata Station

Revival color is the key trend on the Japanese Railways. Many companies are operating revival colored trains with previously used body colors to attract passengers. The main targets are sightseers and veteran rail-fans. One type of revival colored train is the "new modeled train painted with nostalgic revival colors". For instance, the Keio 8013F and the Tokyu 1017F belong to this category. We can enjoy extraordinary experiences, as the familiar trains change to nostalgic ones.

On October 1st, 2016, Izu-Hakone Railway launched a new revival colored train in commemoration of the 90th anniversary of the Daiyuzan Line. It was 5501F of the EMU 5000 series. 5501F is a 3-car train built by Tokyu Sharyo in 1984. The original color was white with blue stripes, but it has been changed to a dark rose-color with a beige stripe called Akaden (red electric car). This color design had been used until 1996 on the Daiyuzan Line. It suits the 5501F and is very nostalgic for me.

For your information, the Daiyuzan Line was opened in 1925 between Odawara and Daiyuzan stations. It was constructed to transport worshippers to the famous Saijo-ji Temple. The route length is 9.6 km. The track is 1,067 mm-size single and electrified. The electric system is 1,500 V DC overhead. Trains are operated every 12 minutes on average. Currently, the passengers are not only worshipers, but also local commuters and students going to Odawara, Yokohama, and so on.

5501F... it is a revival of Akaden on the Daiyuzan Line.

5501F arrives at Sagami-Numata Station on the Daiyuzan Line

Official information about the rolling stock on the Daiyuzan Line (in Japanese):