Sunday, September 22, 2013

EMU 183/189 Series, Old JNR-colored Limited Express


Set H81 of the EMU JR East 183/189 series (JNR color) stands at Shinjuku Station

JNR, which stands for Japanese National Railways, was Japan's largest railway network. It was split into seven railway companies and privatized as the JR Group in 1987 due to financial difficulties. During the JNR era, plenty of limited express trains like the one in the top photo were introduced all over Japan. You can see the characteristics of the JNR type limited express in the front design, body coloring and so on.

After privatizing, all JNR type limited express trains were ceded to each JR company. Since then, these trains were gradually scrapped or modified and lost the original designs. But, they are still alive and operating on some lines.

Look at the top photo. It is an example of JNR type limited express train, set number H81 of the 183/189 series standing at JR East Shinjuku Station. This model was launched in 1972. The body of this train is frequently called "JNR limited express color". Although JNR has been abolished, many rail fans are still boosterish about this coloring, as it fits into any kind of scenery in Japan from urban business centers to mountain forests.

41 years have already passed since it debuted, but the 183/189 series still plays an important role. Set H81 is mainly used for group tours including school excursions for junior high and senior high school students. The old train serves boys and girls who will bear the future world. It will be the final mission for this old JNR-colored limited express train before its retirement.

 
Side view of the EMU JR East 183/189 series (JNR color)