Following the sightseeing train, DMU KiHa 48 "Minori" (see my blog on February 5th, 2011), I am going to show you the other train in the Tohoku area.
EMU JR East 701 series is a standard commuter train in Sendai, Akita, Morioka, and the other cities in the Tohoku area. It was launched in 1993 to replace the old commuter EMUs and the passenger coaches. Different from EMUs in the Tokyo metropolitan area, the 701 series is an AC (alternate current) train.
The greatest contribution of launching this train was to speed up travel time and provide air-conditioners. The Tohoku area is located in the northern part of Japan. It is cooler than that of Tokyo; however, it is rather hot in midsummer. On the contrary, there is a lot of criticism of this train for decreasing the seating capacity.
In the meantime, the coloring of the bodies of the 701 series varies by areas. For instance, it has a pink colored stripe in the Akita district (see the top photo), and is green colored in the Sendai district (see the following photo). The 701 series trains have a number of other colors, such as blue, light blue, and purple. This color variation is joyful for rail fans.
With regard to the specification, the 701 series has a high level of efficiency. Specifically, the recently-manufactured group has a brand new system, such as IGBT-VVVF control and regenerative braking.
EMU JR East 701 series... it is a contemporary standard commuter train in Tohoku area.
More information about EMU JR East 701 series (in Japanese): http://www.jreast.co.jp/train/local/701.html