Saturday, 10 March 2012

Revisit to Railway Heritage Park and Wintersweet Village

Electric locomotive EF3020, Type EF30 at Usui Pass Railway Heritage Park

It is mid-March already. Time really flies. But, before introducing the topics of this month, I would like to keep on the subject of February a bit more.

After visiting a heritage railway bridge, Megane-bashi in Gunma Prefecture (see my blog on February 10th), I headed again for Wintersweet Village, where I went at the end of last year.

Last December, it had just come into bloom (see my blog on December 31st, 2011). But last month, it was the best time to view the blossom (see the bottom photo). I enjoyed 12,000 wintersweet trees with lovely yellow flowers and a sweet perfume. I was delighted to see the sign of spring.

Then, I visited Usui Pass Railway Heritage Park again. This time, my purpose was to see and take a picture of an electric locomotive, number JNR EF3020 of Type EF30 (see the top photo).

EF30 electric locomotives were manufactured from 1960 to 1968 at Hitachi, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Toshiba Corporation. A total of eight units were launched; but all of them have already been retired. They were specifically used for transportation through the Kanmon Undersea Tunnel, which is located between Honshu and Kyushu islands.

For that special purpose, the body is made of stainless steel to prevent brine damage by sea water. DC and AC electric systems were both applied, because electric systems in Honshu and Kyushu were different.

I like this stainless steel body very much. It was glinting in the rays of the early spring sunlight.

Full-blown wintersweet near Nishi-Matsuida Station on the JR East Shinetsu Line