Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Isumi Railway Update: Rail Cars KiHa 28, 52 and 200'

Diesel rail cars, KiHa 52 125 (left) and KiHa 28 2346 (right), approach Shiromigaoka Station
Isumi is a local railway company in Chiba Prefecture, some 80km east of Tokyo. Connecting Ohara and Kazusa-Nakano, there are 14 stations over a total operating length of 26.8km. The route is single track and non-electrified. I am going to give an update on this local railway for the first time in a year. What has happened over the past year?

First, Isumi accepted an "old newcomer", the diesel rail car KiHa 28 2346. It was a classic JNR-type express rail car manufactured in 1964, and came to Isumi to spend a new life after retirement from JR West. The two-toned JNR-type colored body grabs the interest of rail fans.

Second, the body of KiHa 52 125 was repainted to a single vermilion color in January this year. It is known as "metropolitan color". The repainted body is also popular among rail fans, but not my cup of tea to be honest, since the new color is too intense for me. Currently, KiHa 52 125 is coupled with KiHa 28 2346 and operated as a sightseeing express train.

Third, rail car unit number 205 of the Type 200' was retired from the track and sent to Myanmar to spend a new life. Type 200' was launched in 1988 as the first rail car on the newly established Isumi Railway. A total of 7 units has been manufactured by Fuji Heavy Industries, but, currently, only 3 units, namely unit number 201, 202 and 206, remain on the track.

Everything flows, nothing stands still.
Diesel rail car Isumi KiHa 206 of the Type 200' stands at Ootaki Rail Yard