Wednesday, November 27, 2013

EF510-510: Superstar EL on the Northern Track

Electric locomotive EF510-510 is exhibited in Uchihara Rail Yard near Uchihara Station
One of the eye-catching exhibits at the festival site of Mito Railway Communication Day was an electric locomotive (EL), unit number 510 of the type JR East EF510 (EF510-510). Along with EF510-509, this EL was manufactured in 2010 by Mitsubishi Electric and Kawasaki Heavy Industries. Currently, it belongs to Tabata Operation Office (Tabata Rail Yard) in Tokyo.

Type EF510 is an AC-DC dual current narrow gauge EL operated by JR Freight and JR East. It debuted in 2002 to replace the old EL, type EF81. The EF510 is a Bo-Bo-Bo (UIC notation) type EL that has six 565kW traction motors. IGBT-VVVF (variable frequency drive) is adopted as an electric control system. The nickname is "Eco-power Red Thunder".

The main assignment of EF510-510 is to pull an overnight sleeper train, "Cassiopeia". As I mentioned before, Cassiopeia is the most reputable sleeper train in Japan. Connecting Ueno and Sapporo, it is directly operated from the Tokyo metropolitan area to the northern island of Japan, namely Hokkaido, passing through the 53.85-kilometer-long Seikan Submarine Tunnel. It takes about 17 hours to get to Sapporo from Ueno.

For that purpose, EF510-510 has a silver metallic body, which coordinates with Cassiopeia passenger coaches, namely the E26 series. It was sparkling in the late autumn morning sun in Uchihara Rail Yard... very beautiful. A meteor-like yellow star on the side of the body also provides a good snap for rail fans.

EF510-510... it is a superstar EL on the northern track.

Front view of the electric locomotive EF510-510