Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Second Life in Indonesia, EMU JR East 203 Series

EMU KRL Jabodetabek (ex-JR East) 203 series arrives at Manggarai Station, Indonesia
Photo: Courtesy Faris Fadhli

I have received news from an Indonesian rail fan again. The EMU ex-JR East 203 series has launched on the KRL Jabodetabek (Jakarta Metropolitan Electric Railway) in Indonesia (see the top photo).

The EMU 203 series was first manufactured in 1982 under the name of JNR (Japanese National Railways). A total of 17 sets, 170 units had been operating on the Joban Line. It had also been directly operating into the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line.

I often rode the 203 series on the Chiyoda Line to go to my office. I liked it because the 203 series was the first air-conditioned JR train on the Chiyoda Line. Before launching the 203 series, it was very hot and humid on the subway trains in midsummer. It was caused by heat emissions from the electric control instruments on the trains. Engineers thought that an air-conditioner would be useless because it also emitted a large amount of heat. But advances in technology enabled electric control instruments on the 203 series to refrain from emitting heat. As a result, this allowed the 203 series to install air-conditioners.

Last August, the first set of 203 series arrived in Jakarta, Indonesia to spend a new life after retirement from JR East. They were modified to the local style and launched at the year-end. The body was changed from a green colored belt to a flashy red-yellow mask and belt, an Indonesian style.

As I described before (see the blog of September 17th, 2011 etc.), there are many ex-Tokyo trains, a total of nearly 400 cars in this giant city railway (see the photo below).
A fleet of EMUs from Japan, ex-Tokyu 8500 series (left), ex-Tokyo Metro 05 series (center) and ex-JR East 203 series (right) at Jakarta Kota Station, KRL Jabodetabek, Photo: Courtesy Faris Fadhli