Wednesday, 24 July 2013

EMU Kintetsu 30000 Series, "Vista-Ex"

EMU Kintetsu 30000 series, "Vista-Ex" stands at Kashihara-jingu-mae Rail Yard 
When I was a kid, I yearned to travel on the limited express train, "Vista Car", on the Kintetsu lines. Kintetsu is a private railway company in the western part of Japan. It was far from Tokyo. The most I could do was to look at pictures of the Vista Car in a book. Of course, people didn't have videos or DVDs, much less the internet at that time.

When I was in the primary school, I travelled to the Ise-Shima area on the Kintetsu-Yamada Line. That was my first experience to get on the limited express train on the Kintetsu lines. It was a fantastic memory for me, but my vehicle was not the Vista Car... just a standard limited express train.

What is Vista Car? It is a bi-level limited express train on the Kintetsu Line. Kintetsu has a long tradition of operating bi-level trains. The first generation Vista Car was launched in 1958. Currently, renovated trains of the third generation Vista Car, namely the EMU 30000 series, "Vista-Ex", is the main fleet of the Kintetsu's bi-level limited express (see the photos).

It is said that the Vista Car has been developed under a competitive business environment. Needless to say, Kintetsu has been facing fierce competition from Japanese National Railways (present JR West) along with many other private railways. To survive as a private company, Kintetsu had to develop a popular train to attract passengers. As a result, Vista Car has been enthusiastically welcomed by passengers.

Bi-level cars of the EMU Kintetsu 30000 series, "Vista-Ex"
More information about limited express trains on the Kintetsu Line: