Wednesday, March 28, 2012

L-train on the Seibu Line


EMU Seibu 3000 series, L-train leaves Shiinamachi Station on the Ikebukuro Line

One of the features of private railway companies in Tokyo is their diversification of business. For example, almost all companies have their own department stores on their lines. Of course the residents are expected to take the railways to go shopping. Another example is the real estate business. Railway companies own land and develop housing and condominiums to rent or sell on their lines. Of course the new residents are expected to take the railways to commute or to go to school.

Among the many private railway companies, Seibu is especially well known for their aggressive diversified business. The most famous of these is the sponsoring of the professional baseball team, namely the Saitama Seibu Lions. This team is based at the Seibu Baseball Field in Tokorozawa City, Saitama Prefecture, on the Seibu Line.

To support and promote the Lions, Seibu operates the L-train, which is an EMU 3000 series-based (see the top photo). The body is wrapped in "legend blue" which is the Lions' team color, and it is decorated with team logos and characters. The L-train holds a special place in a total of 9 sets of the 3000 series.

For your information, the original color of the EMU 3000 series is "Seibu yellow", which is similar to that of a railway crossing sign (see the bottom photo). These EMUs were manufactured from 1983 to 1987 at Tokyu Sharyo and Seibu Tokorozawa Works. A total of 72 units have been launched, and 70 units are still being operated.

EMU Seibu 3000 series (origibal colour) arrives at Shiinamachi Station on the Ikebukuro Line