Friday, 11 October 2013

EMU 52 Series, Streamliner in the 1930’s

KuMoHa 52004 of the EMU 52 series is preserved in SCMaglev and Railway Park, Nagoya City
Following the world's fastest train, MLX 01 series and the domestic high speed record holder, 955 series, I am going to show you an elegant old EMU in SCMaglev and Railway Park in Nagoya City.

Look at the top photo. It is KuMoHa 52004 of the EMU 52 series manufactured in 1937. The 52 series had been operated by Japanese Government Railways (later Japanese National Railways) since 1936, mainly for express trains in the Osaka metropolitan area. A total of 12 units were manufactured by Kawasaki Sharyo and Nihon Sharyo in 1936 and 1937.

Streamliners are timeless popular trains among rail fans as well as passengers. Specifically, the EMU 52 series was called "Gyorai-gata (torpedo-shaped)", and later affectionately-called "Ryuden (streamlined electric car)" by Osakan. The electric welded body without rivets is very smooth and beautiful. The interior is also very elegant. The wooden walls, the orderly rows of seats and rounded ceiling lights are luxurious and nostalgic.

The 52004 was retired in 1978 with the operation on the Iida Line. Currently, only two units of the 52 series, namely KuMoHa 52001 and 52004, are preserved as precious historical electric cars in Osaka (Suita Depot of JR West) and Nagoya (SCMaglev and Railway Park). The 52004 was moved to SCMaglev Railway Park in 2011, when the park was opened.

It was a very precious experience for me as a Tokyoite to see this elegant historical train, which had been operated in the Osaka metropolitan area.

Interior of KuMoHa 52004