Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Hydrangea and Classic Trains in the Hakone Mountain

Hydrangea and classic EMU Hakone Tozan Type MoHa 1 near Miyanoshita Station

The season of hydrangea flowers in downtown Tokyo has already passed, but still continues in high altitude suburban areas. Hakone Mountain is one such area.

Last weekend, I visited there to see late-blooming hydrangea along the Hakone Tozan Railway. Just like the Keio-Inokashira Line (see my blog on June 19th), Hakone Tozan Railway is a gorgeous viewing spot for hydrangea flowers. Railway employees have been lovingly working plants on to the embankments of the track for many years. Nowadays, we can enjoy seeing colorful blossoms here and there from the trains (see the top photo).

The other targets last weekend were classic trains. They are Type MoHa 1 and 2. Type MoHa 1 was launched in 1950, when the voltage in the section between Odawara and Hakone-Yumoto stations was raised from 600 to 1500 volts. A total of 6 units were manufactured, and 4 units (103, 104, 106 and 107) are still operated. Meanwhile, Type MoHa 2 was manufactured from 1955 to 1957. Five units were manufactured, and 3 units (108, 109 and 110) are still operated. The exterior appearances of both types do not vary much; but, the interiors differ considerably. Long seats are arranged in Type MoHa1, meanwhile there are cross seats in Type MoHa 2.

I love the classic feel of these trains. Specifically, I like long resistors on the train roofs. They exude a strong dignity with their cubed bodies. I am always impressed when I see these classic trains climb powerfully up the 80 per mill steep railway track.

Classic EMU Hakone Tozan Type MoHa 2 with a roof top resistor