Friday, 11 July 2014

EMU E501 Series on the Mito Line

EMU JR East E501 series travels between Fukuhara and Inada stations on the Mito Line
I have already shown most of the railway routes in the Tokyo metropolitan area at least once since I set up my blog in 2011, but, there are still some routes, which I have not yet shown. I am going to show you one of such routes this time.

The JR East Mito Line is an East-West trending local route in the northern part of the Tokyo metropolitan area. Connecting Oyama in Tochigi Prefecture and Tomobe in Ibaraki Prefecture, the line length is 50.2km. The track is 1,067mm single-gauge. The electric system is 1,500V DC overhead in the western section between Oyama and Otabayashi, while 20,000V AC overhead is used in the eastern section between Otabayashi and Tomobe. The reason for applying the AC system in the eastern section is that the direct current has adverse effects on the observation work at the national magnetic observatory located near the track.

Although reputable sightseeing spots are not known on this route, the beautiful country scenery on the line is my favorite, including rice paddies, barley fields and green forests. The dialect accent spoken by local people on the train is unique.

One of the main rolling stock on the line is the EMU E501 series. It is an AC-DC train launched in 1995 to replace the old model, the 403 series. A total of 4 sets, 20 units, are operated on the Mito Line, characterized by thick green and white pencil stripes on their bodies.

EMU JR East E501 series stands at Mito Station
More infoemation about the EMU JR East E501 series (in Japanese):