Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Seibu Blue: Train and Management

EMU Seibu 20000 series arrives at Ekoda Station on the Ikebukuro Line
The management of Seibu Railway is probably feeling blue. Currently, they are far from enjoying a good relationship with the foreign investment fund, who is a major shareholder.

Seibu Railway had been known for being managed by members of a single family. When a scandal involved the company breaking a Security and
Exchange Law in the early 2000s, Seibu was delisted from the stock exchange in Tokyo. The company has, since then, been trying to dedicate themselves to modernizing the management style. A foreign investment fund has been supporting Seibu after the crisis, but the difference of management style between the foreign fund and Seibu was obvious. Japanese management tends to think that railway companies should promote public benefit rather than be profit-oriented; meanwhile the foreign fund tends to think the investor's position.

Although the management feels blue, the blue colored train, the EMU 20000 series of Seibu Railway, enjoys vigorous health. The 20000 series is one of Seibu's major rolling stock. It debuted in 2000 as a new generation commuter train following the 6000 series. The light body is made of aluminum. 135kW/h induction motors with an IGBT-VVVF invertor control and regenerative brake systems are equipped on the train. A total of 18 sets, 144 units, have been manufactured so far by Hitachi.

Seibu Blue will continue... both the train and the management.
EMU Seibu 20000 series (right) and the 9000 series (left)
More information about the EMU Seibu 20000 series (in Japanese):