Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Congratulations London! Opening of the 2012 Olympics

EMU Heathrow Express Class 332 (right) stands at London Paddington Station, UK

The 2012 London Olympic Games started with a beautiful opening ceremony. I am convinced that the British people will make this event successful. On this occasion, I would like to talk to you about the contest between UK and Japan airport access trains. Is that a bit of a stretch?

The leader of UK National Team is EMU Heathrow Express, Class 332 operated by BAA. A hornet-like yellow striped train with a piercing look on the face (front lights) is quite unique. The maximum speed is 160km/h, and it runs between Heathrow Airport and downtown London in only 15 minutes. 2+1 cross seats in the first class train look very spacious and comfortable (I have never tried... It's a bit expensive).

A worthy rival of Heathrow Express in Japan is EMU Keisei Skyliner, AE series (see my blog on September 13th, 2011). The crow-like long sharp nose and black head are quite impressive. The Skyliner runs between Narita Airport and downtown Tokyo in 36 minutes, as the maximum speed is 160km/h, the same as Heathrow Express. Thanks to leisurely reclining seats, passengers are able to have a relaxing time on the train.

Another member of Japan's National Team is EMU JR East Narita Express, E259 series (see my blog on April 15th, 2011). The maximum speed is only 130km/h, but it has a well-developed operation network in downtown Tokyo, such as Tokyo (central), Shinagawa, Shinjuku and Ikebukuro. It has a first class train (Green Car) with leather seats.

Who is the gold medalist among the three runners?

Side view of EMU Heathrow Express Class 332 at London Paddington Station, UK