Sunday, 20 May 2012

EMU 16000 Series, Winner of the 2011 Laurel Prize

EMU Tokyo Metro 16000 series at Yoyogi-Uehara Station on the Chiyoda Line

Currently, you can see special stickers on the body of EMU 16000 series on the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line (see the bottom photo). They are memorial stickers of the 2011 Laurel Prize.

What is the Laurel Prize? It is an annual award presented by Japan Railfan Club since 1961, awarded to trains which were launched in the previous year as the most outstanding technical and designed ones. Actually, almost all awarded trains to date are commuter carriages.

For example, Keio 3000 series in 1963, Tokyu 8500 series in 1976, Tokyo Metro 01 series in 1985, Senday Subway 1000 series in 1988 and JR East-Sendai Airport Transit 721 series in 2008 are well known as previous Laurel Prize winners.

Last year, Japan Railfan Club elected EMU Tokyo Metro 16000 series as the 2011 Laurel Prize train. The 16000 series won for its high-tech system such as its Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor (PMSM) to reduce electric power consumption and also its comfortable design such as copious use of glasses to brighten the interior of the train.

I also like this train because its design is urbanized, and the interior monitors installed above the doors are quite informative. But to mention one drawback, the seats are too firm for me.

Now, what's the Laurel Prize going to this year?

Memorial sticker of the 2011 Laurel Prize on the body of EMU Tokyo Metro 16000 series

More information about EMU Tokyo Metro 16000 series (in Japanese):