Friday, 24 February 2012

Classic EL and Fukujuso along the Railway Track

Electric locomotive (EL) Chichibu DeKi 501 with limestone freight train leaves Nagatoro Station

After visiting Mt. Hodo in Chichibu District (see my blog on February 18th), I went back to Nagatoro Station to catch the train home. On my way to the station on foot, I found a classic electric locomotive (EL) on the track of Chichibu Railway.

It was number 501 of Type DeKi 500. It was manufactured in 1973 by Hitachi Ltd. The main task of this EL is pulling freight trains. Its features are rather classic; however, the bluish body with a white stripe still has a youthful beauty. Specifically, I love its nostalgic design.

Look at the top photo. You can see a deck and steps on the front of the locomotive. In the past, almost all Japanese ELs had decks like this. But, this design was faded out from an engineering viewpoint. Currently, we cannot see this type of EL on major railways, such as on the JR lines. So, Type DeKi 500s are highly valued for their historical significance.

In the meantime, I found lovely yellow flowers beside the railway track (see the bottom photo). They were "Fukujuso (Far East Amur adonis)", which are well known among Japanese people as a typical spring ephemeral. We can see these flowers in winter and/or early spring. It is said that Fukujuso brings us happiness and luck in Japan. It's probably because Fukujuso comes into bloom in the New Year holiday season.

I enjoyed the classic EL and beautiful flowers together. This is what is attractive in the Chichibu District.

FYI, I have linked to Panagos89's website, which introduces Greek railways. Please enjoy unique movies, shot by an enthusiastic railfan in Greece.

Fukujuso flowers along the railway track near Nagatoro Station, Chichibu Railway