Saturday, 28 December 2013

Ex-Keio Train on the Kamikochi Line

EMU Alpico (ex-Keio) 3000 series arrives at Nishi-Matsumoto Station on the Kamikochi Line
When I visited Matsumoto City last week, I fought the clock and had an opportunity to hold a reunion with a good old train in the early morning.

The EMU Alpico 3000 series, also known as the ex-Keio 3000 series, was launched on the Kamikochi Line in 1999. A total of 4 sets, 8 units, have been introduced so far. They were originally manufactured for the Inokashira Line of Keio Electric Railway Company in Tokyo in the 1960s and 1970s.

My grandpa, who passed away in 1999, was a railway engineer of Keio Electric Railway Company. I still remember that I visited Eifuku-cho Rail Yard with my grandpa and saw the 3000 series there for the first time. It was brand spanking new and the stainless steel body was shining brilliantly in my eyes.

Since then, I have always had a special fondness for these trains. Even after their retirement from Keio, I cannot forget them, and often visit several local railways, which have taken over the 3000 series, such as Jomo and Gakunan railways.

The Alpico 3000 series has some special features. For instance, it is operated without conductors on board to save manpower costs. For that purpose, a tariff and a fare box are installed behind the driver's seat. Another feature is that passengers are permitted to carry their bicycles onto the train.

A reunion with Alpico 3000 series (ex-Keio 3000 series)... I had a pleasurable time in Matsumoto City.

EMU Alpico (ex-Keio) 3000 series stands at Matsumoto Station on the Kamikochi Line