Saturday, 25 April 2015

JRW's First Self-developed Commuter Train

Set number H13 of the EMU JR West 207 series stands at Osaka Station on the Tokaido Main Line

Japan's first railway was opened between Shimbashi, a downtown part of Tokyo, and Yokohama, an outport of Tokyo, in 1872. Since then, it has been extended bit-by-bit, and its current total operating length is 27,337 km. A total of 24 billion passengers use it every year.

Japanese National Railways (JNR) had been playing the largest role in rail transportation; however, it was split into seven private companies as the JR Group in 1987 due to financial difficulties. During the JNR era, plenty of rolling stock were introduced to tracks throughout Japan, but each JR group company has become to develop its own rolling stock since JNR was abolished.

JR West (JRW) was no exception. The EMU 207 series is JRW's first self-developed commuter train launched in 1991. It is a 1,067mm-gauge and 1,500V DC train in the Osaka area. JRW first adopted VVVF inverter (variable-frequency drive) as an electric control system on this model. The front shape looks slightly rounded from the side. It is similar to that of the E233-2000 series operated on the Joban Local Line in Tokyo.

In 2005, JRW launched a new commuter train called the 321 series as a successor of the 207 series. Furthermore, in 2014, JRW made a press release announcing that a new model, the 323 series, will debut on the Osaka Loop Line in 2016 to replace the old model such as the 201 series.

Rail fans can't keep their eyes off JRW.

Side view of KuHa 207-113 of the EMU JR West 207 series