Thursday, 26 December 2013

Increase in Smiles on the Seibu Railway

EMU Seibu 30000 series, the Smile Train, approarches Nishi-Tokorozawa Station
Seibu had been a peculiar private railway company that had been managed by members of a single family. That family had been keen about the real estate industry rather than the railway business. In consequence, the trains on the Seibu Line had been old-fashioned and unpolished over a period of time.

In the early 2000s, Seibu was involved in a big scandal. The owner family broke a Security and Exchange Law. The company lost its reputation as a private railway company. Since then, Seibu has been trying to reduce the effect of the owner family and dedicate itself to modernization of the management style.

One of the symbols of newly-emerged Seibu is the EMU 30000 series, called the Smile Train. It was launched in 2008. Needless to say, its front view looks like a smiling face. Until then, they only placed importance on the operating functions of trains of the Seibu Line, but, the design concept of this new train is that "trains bring smiles to the people". It is totally different from their previous ones.

The 30000 series is manufactured by Hitachi. A total of 124 units have been introduced so far. It is still manufactured every year. As a result, passengers have a greater opportunity to ride on this brand new train.

Honestly speaking, the 30000 series is not my cup of tea as a rail-fan, because the design of this train is eccentric; but I don't think there's anything wrong with an increase in "smiles" on the Seibu Line.

"Double smile" is seen near Nerima Station on the Seibu-Ikebukuro Line