Wednesday, May 18, 2011

EMU the New Shuttle 1010 Series, Kawaii?

EMU the New Shuttle 1010 series near Tetsudo Hakubutsukan-mae station

Do you know the word “kawaii”?

Kawaii means lovely, cute or pretty in Japanese but probably something more. For example, a baby is kawaii. A panda and a koala are also kawaii. But, furthermore, some teenage girls are kawaii. Their accessories are also kawaii…..and….. the train in the top photo is also definitely kawaii!

This is Saitama Shin-toshi Kotsu (The New Shuttle), 1010 series train. The New Shuttle is a rubber-tyred automated guideway transit (AGT) system in Saitama Prefecture, the northern part of the Tokyo metropolitan area. The line length is 12.7km between Omiya and Uchijuku stations along the Joetsu Shinkansen Line. EMU 1010 series are the oldest cars on the line. They were launched in 1983, when the line was opened. One train is composed of 6 cars; and a total 6 sets are still in operation.

I always take this train when I visit the Railway Museum, which is located in front of Tetsudo Hakubutsukan-mae station of the New Shuttle. One of the amusements during the ride runs parallel to Shinkansen. “Kawaii” New Shuttle and the Shinaknsen train contrast starkly in all areas, such as the size of the bodies and their speeds. So, the scene of running it alongside the Shinkansen is a very exciting attraction before arriving at the Railway Museum. Rail fans always enjoy train riding, don’t they?

There are several AGTs in the Tokyo Metropolitan areas, so I will introduce them to you, one after the other.

EMU the New Shuttle 1010 series at Tetsudo Hakubutsukan-mae station

More infromation about the New Shuttle (in Japanese): http://www5.ocn.ne.jp/~snut/index.htm