Saturday, 25 July 2015

Shimakaze: Kintetsu's New Flagship Train

EMU Kintetsu 50000 series, "Shimakaze", stands at Iseshi Station
Kintetsu is one of the major private railway companies. It has a 437-km-long track, which is the largest private railway network in Japan. The route extends to 5 prefectures in the western part of Japan. The whole route is a single or double track with 1,500 V DC overhead. The gauge size is 1,435 or 1,067 mm.

One of the features of this railway is its extensive intercity express network. For instance, they operate Meihan Express between Osaka and Nagoya cities using luxury trains, because Kintetsu faces fierce competition from JR Central's Tokaido Shinkansen. Moreover, Kintetsu currently gears up a sightseeing train to the Shima area, a reputable marine resort in Mie Prefecture.

The name of the sightseeing train is Shimakaze (Breeze in the Shima area). Shimakaze, EMU 50000 series, was launched in 2013. A total of 3 sets, 18 units, have been built by Kinki Sharyo. The concept of this train is "to be superior to the simple transportation means". In fact, this train provides passengers with superior facilities. Its premium seats are similar to those of first class airline seats. A double-decker car with a scenic cafe is coupled in the middle of the train. It is also equipped with a gorgeous compartment car. The outer design is very fresh, but not my cup of tea, as it looks like Crustacean. Its almond-shaped eyes (frontal lights) are a bit scary for me.

Shimakaze... it is the Kintetsu's new flagship train with a bit of a scary face.

Double-decker car, Sa50403 of the Kintetsu 50000 series
Officilal information about Shimakaze train (in English):
Official information about Shimakaze train (in Japanese):