Friday, April 15, 2011

EMU JR East E259 Series, the New Narita Express (N’EX)

EMU JR East E259 series, the new N’EX at Ikebukuro Station
 
There are two international airports in the Tokyo metropolitan area. One of them is Tokyo International Airport, known as "Haneda". Another one is the New Tokyo International Airport, which is called "Narita".

To be honest, Narita Airport has a lousy reputation as an inconvenient access, because it's far from downtown Tokyo. It takes nearly a full hour from Tokyo (central) Station by express train. The distance between Tokyo Station and Narita Airport is about 80km.

Railway companies can't just sit here and do nothing. Last year (in 2010), a large breakthrough was accomplished by the New "Skyliner", which is able to travel between Nippori (one of the terminal stations in downtown Tokyo) and Narita Airport in 36 minutes with a 160km/hour maximum speed. It is operated by Keisei Railway Company. The rival of Skyliner is the new "Narita Express (N'EX)", EMU (Electrical Multiple Unit) E259 series, operated by JR East since 2009 (photo at the top).

The maximum speed of the new N'EX is 130km/hour only; however, it has the advantage in its variety of operating routes, such as Narita Airport - Tokyo, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro and Yokohama terminals. I am also a user of N'EX from Shinjuku to Narita Airport, when I go abroad. One of my favorite spots in this train is the lavatory! It's quite spacious and immaculate (photo at the bottom). Passengers with babies or who use electric-powered wheelchairs can also use it easily.

The new N'EX… is a comfortable airport access in the Tokyo metropolitan area.
 


Spacious and immaculate lavatory of the new N’EX

More information about N'EX: http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/nex/index.html