Friday, April 28, 2017

The Latest Model on the Shin-Keisei Line

EMU N800 series travels on the Shin-Keisei Line

Shin-Keisei (New-Keisei) is an affiliate firm of Keisei Electric Railway Company in Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo. There are not enough opportunities for me to take this line, as I live in the western part of Tokyo Metropolis, so not all of the models of Shin-Keisei trains have been introduced in this blog yet. Nevertheless, I am going to show you one of these trains today.

The EMU N800 series is the latest model on the Shin-Keisei Line. It was launched in 2005 to replace the old model, the 800 series. So far, 3 sets, 18 units have been built by Nippon Sharyo. Don't you think it is similar to something? Yes, the N800 series is a sister model of the Keisei 3000 series. The train bodies and the technical specifications of the N800 series are the same as those of the 3000 series. What is the major difference between the N800 and the 3000 series? It is the color design. The maroon and white colored stripes of the M800 series are definitely my favorite. The colors are elegant and stylish, and the maroon color reminds me of the Hankyu trains in the Osaka area.

Currently, Shin-Keisei is in the process of changing their train coloring. The new design is a two-tone white and pink. They are certainly beautiful, but mere beauty does not wear well. I hope that the original coloring will be kept as long as possible. 

Set N818 of the EMU Shin-Keisei N800 series

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

2017 Sakura Season on the Tokaido Main Line

EMU E231 series arrives at Manazuru Station on the Tokaido Main Line

Sakura (cherry) blossoms die away so quickly. The 2017 Sakura blooming season has ended in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Following the urban cherry viewing spot on the Chuo Local Line, I am going to show you another spot in the countryside to keep in my mind.

Arai-joshi is a small local park in Manazuru Town, Kanagawa Prefecture, about 100 km southwest of Tokyo. We can see the early blooming weeping-cherry there, because the influx of the Kuroshio Warm Current has influenced the temperate climate of Manazuru Town. In early April, local people hold the Cherry Festival in the park. They leisurely enjoy eating, chatting, dancing, and singing with their families, friends, and neighbors. They also warmly welcome visitors from outside of the town.

To get to this cherry blossom viewing spot, I took the JR East Tokaido Main Line and got off at Manazuru Station. It takes about one and a half hours by rapid train from Tokyo Station. My return train was the E231 series, which had two double-decker Green Cars (the first class cars). Getting on the Green Cars, I could relax and return home. The extra cost of the Green Cars was 780 yen.

Why did I use the Green Cars? It was because I was rather drunk. I was enthusiastically welcomed by local people, who recommended glasses of sake (Japanese rice wine) to me. The train had just arrived at Tokyo Station when I woke up.

Full blown weeping-cherry tree, Arai-joshi Park near Manazuru Station

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Slope Car on a Golf Course

Slope car, 16V3 of the Type KSC-10MS, in Manna Country Club, Chiba Prefecture

I sometimes play golf with my friends or colleagues. It is a basically non-train spotting time, but as it happens, I found a railway-related facility last weekend.

Please look at the photos. It is a slope car operated on a golf course of Manna Country Club in Chiba Prefecture, about 50 km east of Tokyo. This course is located in a hilly area, so, the slope car is convenient to transport golfers and golf sticks between the club house and the starter house of the course. Crossing a surface public road and an underground expressway (the Metropolitan Inter-City Expressway), its route length is about 100 m. The track and the stations were constructed by Kaho Monorail Company in 2005.

The vehicle is a 2-car train consisting of a passenger car and a freight car. It is named 16V3 of the Type KSC-100MS, also built by Kaho Monorail Company in 2005. The passenger car can hold up to 10 golfers. It has soft seats and an air-conditioner. The golfers can enjoy a superb view of the Kujukuri Plain and the blue colored Pacific Ocean from the train windows. The freight car can transport two carts and many sets of golf sticks. It is a powerful transporter, isn't it?

The scenic golf course and the unique slope car... I could relax on a beautiful weekend. How was my score? Oh, please refrain from asking this question, as it has no connection with the subject of this railway blog.

Slope car, 16V3, stands at Club House Station in Manna Country Club