Monday, 28 April 2014

New Train and Unique Station on the Utsunomiya Line

EMU JR East 205-600 seies leaves Hoshakuji Station on the Utsunomiya Line 

When I visited Tochigi Prefecture to see a brand new accumulator train (EMU EV- E301 series) and classic diesel rail cars (DMU KiHa 40-1000 series), I found a unique local station near Utsunomiya City.

It is Hoshakuji Station on the Utsunomiya and Karasuyama lines. This unique local station building was constructed in 2007, being designed by famous architect, Kengo Kuma. He excels at designing using natural materials such as local timbers and stones. Hoshakuji station building won a Brunel Award for design in 2008. For your information, Brunel Awards are given to railway companies to encourage outstanding visual design on the railways including the architectures and the trains. The "dinosaur-shaped" architecture is prominently backed by the blue sky.

After enjoying the unique station building, I came down to the platform. A new train, the 205-600 series had just left the station for Kuroiso. The EMU 205-600 series was a commuter train for the narrow gauge (1,067mm) track with a 1,500V DC system. It was introduced to the Utsunomiya Line in 2013 to replace the old EMU 107 and 211 series.

The 205-600 series was previously operated on the Musashino and Saikyo lines in Tokyo. It was shortened to a 4-car train to suit the number of passengers on this local line. The "face" of the train was newly manufactured on the non-driving cars. Isn't it handsome?

I enjoyed a renovated new train and a unique railway station in Tochigi Prefecture.

Entrance of Hoshakuji Station on the JR East Utsunomiya Line