Saturday, October 22, 2011

EMU Jomo 700 Series, Reunion with Old Friends


EMU Jomo 715-725F of 700 series (ex-Keio 3000 series) near Fujiyamashita Station

Jomo is a local railway company in the northern part of the Tokyo metropolitan area. The route connects Chuo-maebashi, the capital of Gunma Prefecture and Nishi-kiryu, the city well known for its silk textile industry. The line is 25km long with 23 stations.

It’s a small local railway, but boasts the longest history. The construction of the line started as an idea of a local university student in 1928. Amazingly, the line was opened at the end of the same year, 1928. Since then, the railway has been greatly contributing to local people and industries.

In the meantime, the trains of Jomo Railway, EMU 700 series, are memorable ones for me, because I often rode them in Tokyo when I was a child.

The Jomo 700 series, whose former name Keio 3000 series, were originally manufactured for Keio Electric Railway Company in Tokyo in the 1960s and 1970s. My grandpa, who passed away in 1999, was a railway engineer of Keio and in charge of introducing these trains. I still remember that I visited Eifuku-cho Rail Yard of Keio with my grandpa, and saw the 3000 series there for the first time. It was brand spanking new and the stainless body was shining brilliantly in my eyes.

Since then, I have always had a special fondness for these trains. Even after retirement of some 3000 series trains from Keio, I cannot forget them and sometimes visit Jomo Railway to see them again.

A reunion with Jomo 700 series (ex-Keio 3000 series)… it’s also a reunion with my childhood memories with grandpa.


EMU Jomo 718-728F of 700 series (ex-Keio 3000 series) at Akagi Station

More information about trains in Jomo Electric Railway (in Japanese): http://www15.wind.ne.jp/~joden/700kei/700keisyoukai.html