Sunday, 15 June 2014

Reunion with "Fresh-Hitachi" in Niigata City

EMU JR East E653-1000 series, limited express "Inaho", stands at Niigata Station
When I arrived at Niigata Station in the late afternoon, I saw a train which I hadn't seen in a long time. It was the EMU JR East E653 series known as limited express, "Fresh-Hitachi" in the Tokyo metropolitan area.

The E653 series was launched in 1997 to replace the old model, the 485 series, on the Joban Line. A total of 12 sets, 72 units, have been manufactured 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 been operated as limited express, "Fresh-Hitachi" on the Joban Line until March 15th, 2013.

After their retirement from the Joban Line, a total of 8 sets, 56 units, have been moved to the Niigata area to spend their second life on the track. The new assignment is limited express train "Inaho (rice stalk)" on the route between Niigata and Akita. Before the move, the body color was changed to orange, which stands for the beautiful sunset over the Sea of Japan. The front car has been changed to Green Car (first class). Snow-resistant and cold-resistant facilities have also been equipped on the trains.

I hope to ride the E653 series, new Inaho, in the near future and would like to see a beautiful sunset over the sea. The problem is that I am always in a rush and never have time to take a long holiday.

Side view of the Type KuRo E652-1000, Green Car (first class) of the E653-1000 series
More information about the EMU JR East E653-1000 series, limited express "Inaho" (in Japanese):