Wednesday, 1 January 2014

EMU E653 Series: Old "Fresh-Hitachi" on the Joban Line

EMU JR East E653 series is exhibited in Uchihara Rail Yard on the Joban Line
Happy New Year!

The year 2014 has begun. At the opening of New Year, I am going to show you an old limited express train, the EMU JR East E653 series, which was exhibited in Uchihara Rail Yard for the event of "Mito Railway Communication Day".

The E653 series was commissioned in 1997 to replace the previous model, the 485 series, on the Joban Line. A total of 12 sets, 72 units, have been manufactured so far by Hitachi, Kinki Sharyo and Tokyu Sharyo. There were five body colors, namely scarlet, blue, yellow, green and orange. It varies with the variety of train sets. They had being operated as limited express, "Fresh-Hitachi" on the Joban Line until March 15th, 2013.

The E653 was, then, retired from regular trains on the Joban Line. Most units have been moved to the Niigata area. The E653's remaining field of performance in the Tokyo metropolitan area is only as special trains, such as a sightseeing train to Kamakura. It means that the E653 has become a rare train to be chased by rail fans. I enjoyed a long-awaited reunion with the old Fresh-Hitachi in Uchihara Rail Yard. The silver metallic body with an orange colored stripe was shining brilliantly on the track.

Along with the 651 and the E657 series, the frontal mask of the E653 looks like a capybara. It is cute; but, I don't know why the limited express trains on the Joban Line have traditionally looked like capybaras.

Close up of the EMU JR east E653 series