Thursday, March 14, 2013

New Red Arrow, Access to Chichibu and Kawagoe


EMU Seibu 10000 series, NRA (New Red Arrow), passes throough Shiinamachi Station

Seibu is one of the major railway companies in the Tokyo metropolitan area. It has two terminals, namely Ikebukuro and Shinjuku in the downtown Tokyo area. Its labyrinthine network extends to the northwestern part of Tokyo Metropolis and Saitama Prefecture.

This company operates limited express trains using special EMUs, the 10000 series (see the top photo). It is a flagship model of Seibu Railway, and goes by the name of New Red Arrow (NRA). The NRA is a 7-car train, which was launched in 1993. So far, a total of 12 sets, 84 units, have been manufactured by Hitachi, Ltd.

The NRA is operated hourly or half-hourly on the two main routes. They are conveniently accessed from downtown Tokyo to Chichibu and Kawagoe cities. I am fond of the NRA, because the reclining seat is cushioned adequately enough for comfort; however, the sound insulation in the cabin lacks something. It is a bit noisy for a company's flagship train. The specification of the train is also rather old in this day and age.

In the meantime, why is it called "New" Red Arrow? It is because there was a "Red Arrow" train before the NRA. The Red Arrow was retired by the middle of the 1990s to be replaced by the NRA; but, you can still recall the coloring of the Red Arrow train from set number 10105 of the present NRA, which is called "NRA Classic" (see the following photo).
 
Set number 10105 of the EMU Seibu 10000 series, "NRA Classic", stands at Ikebukuro Station
 
More information about Seibu NRA, EMU 10000 series (in Japanese):