Thursday, 10 December 2015

NRA to the Chichibu Area

EMU Seibu 10000 series, New Red Arrow (NRA), stands at Yokoze Station
Seibu Railway operates limited express trains using special EMUs, the 10000 series. It is Seibu's flagship model, and goes by the name of New Red Arrow (NRA). The NRA is a 7-car train, which was launched in 1993 to replace the old Red Arrow, EMU 5000 series. A total of 12 sets, 84 units, have been built by Hitachi, Ltd. The NRA is operated on the Ikebukuro and the Shinjuku lines every half an hour to one hour. I often use it to visit the Chichibu area, where we can enjoy beautiful countryside.

22 years have already passed since the NRA was launched. The NRA is a bit out-dated. For instance, the sound of DC motors is rather noisy as a limited express train. I look forward to hearing the company anouncement of a post-NRA debut.

On May 16th this year, Seibu Railway gave a press release announcing that a new sightseeing train will be launched in spring of next year. It won't be a new limited express train to replace NRA, but a "restaurant train" renovated from the exsisting 4000 series. According to the company, the new sightseeing train will be a 4-car train consisting of two dining cars, one kitchen car and one passenger car with a multipurpose space. Seibu is concentrating on the development of this sightseeing train at this moment. The new NRA will be launched in the next stage after the sightseeing train.

So, be patient!
EMU Seibu 10000 (left) and 4000 (right) series stand at Seibu-Chichibu Station