Friday, 4 December 2015

East i-E: Inspection EMU for Narrow Gauge Tracks

EMU JR East E491 series, "East i-E" stands at Hachioji Station on the Yokohama Line

I am going to show you a very rare train today... JR East's inspection EMU, E491 series called "East i-E".

Along with the EMU E926 series, "East i", for the Shinkansen tracks (1,435 mm gauge size), the EMU E491 series, "East i-E", is an AC/DC inspection EMU for narrow gauge tracks (1,067 mm gauge size). The E491 series was launched in 2002 to replace old inspection trains, the 443 and the MaYa 34 series. Only one set, 3 units was built by Kinki Sharyo and Hitachi.

The mission of the E491 series is to inspect signals, overhead wires and tracks both for alternate and direct current sections. Car number KuMoYa E491-1 has a signal inspection system and a pantograph for measurement. Car number MoYa E490-1 has an overhead wire inspection system and a pantograph for power collection. KuMoYa E490-1 has a track inspection system and another pantograph for measurement.

JR East does not release the timetable of the E491 series, so, it is difficult to see and take pictures of this inspection train. Fortunately, I recently came across "East i-E" at Hachioji Station on the Yokohama Line. Needless to say, many rail-fans found this rare train, and clicked their camera shutters on the platform.

For your information, JR East also has an inspection train called "East i-D" for un-electrified tracks. It is also a very rare train. I am going to upload the photograph, if I come across it by good fortune.

KuYa E490-1