Thursday, 18 August 2011

Structurally-engineered Local Train


EMU JR East E721 series local train at Tateoka Station on the Senzan Line, Yamagata Prefecture

After arriving at Yamagata by Shinkansen, I changed to the Senzan Line to visit Risshakuji Temple. The Senzan Line is a typical local railway. By crossing over the beautiful mountains; trains connect two local cities, Yamagata and Sendai.

On this line, JR East operates the EMU E721 series, an alternating-current train. The E721series, which launched in 2007, is composed of 4 or 6 coaches with a maximum speed of 110km/h.

The most distinctive feature of E721 series train is the height of the cabin floor above the rail. It’s lower than those of standard trains, because of “low platform” measures. Generally speaking, on local lines in Japan, a height of the platform is lower than those of trunk lines. So, the passengers had to climb up a step, when they ride on the trains. But after launching E721 series, there is no need to any more. Needless to say, this structurally-engineered train was enthusiastically welcomed, especially by old people.

Another feature of the E721 series is that they have passenger door switches. After the train arrives at a station, the conductor unlocks passenger doors by remote control. Then, the passenger can operate the switches, and open and close the automatic doors. This system is equipped for the purpose of maximum cooling of air-conditioner. As you may be aware of, passengers who enter and leave are few in the local trains. So, we can block unnecessary door opening and closing, using this door operating system.

EMU JR East E721 Series… it’s a structurally-engineered local train

View of Yamadera Village and EMU JR East E721 series from Risshakuji Temple