Monday, 28 January 2013

Count Down to the Last Run, EMU 651 "Super Hitachi"

EMU JR East 651 series, "Super Hitachi" passes through Kita-Senju Station on the Joban Line

On December 21st, 2012, JR East made a press release, in which they announced that a new timetable will begin on March 16th, 2013. At the same time, they announced that several types of old EMUs will be retired from the tracks and replaced with new EMUs when the timetable is changed.

One such retired train is the EMU 651 series, limited express "Super Hitachi" on the Joban Line. It was launched in 1989 to replace an old EMU 485 series and speed up the route between Tokyo, Ibaraki, Fukushima, and Miyagi Prefectures. Its maximum speed is 130 kilometers per hour. A total of 9 sets, 99 units had been manufactured by Kawasaki Heavy Industries.

One of the features of this train is its exterior. Specifically, a large LED display on the front is quite unique (see the photos). The white, olive gray and olive colored body is also funky fresh. Because of its coloring, rail fans call that "tuxedo body (penguin suit body)". The spec of the train is rather old these days; however, it has lots of fans who enthusiastically "worship" this train.

I sometimes use the 651 Super Hitachi to visit Mito, the major city in Ibaraki Prefecture. Especially in March, it is the best season to view plum blossoms in Mito City. So, the 651 is "the plum viewing train" for me.

The last run of the EMU 651 series is planned on March 15th.

EMU JR East 651 series, "Super Hitachi" stands at Platform 17 of Ueno Terminal
More information about EMU JR East 651 series, Super Hitachi (in Japanese):