Saturday, 6 February 2016

EMU Odakyu 50000 Series: Vault Super Express

EMU Odakyu 50000 series, VSE, passes through Tsurumaki-onsen Station
The EMU Odakyu 50000 series, called VSE (Vault Super Express), is the flagship model of Odakyu Romance Car fleet. Ten years have already passed since it debuted, but VSE still keeps high level of popularity among tourists to Hakone, a mountain resort in the Tokyo metropolitan area.

Why is Romance Car VSE popular among the tourists?

Firstly, the cockpit is up stairs. That means the passengers can enjoy a front view through the wide windows. In fact, the front observation deck seats are always fully booked. It is difficult to secure them. Secondly, the exterior design is futuristic. Specifically, the canopy architecture with a long front nose is cool. The white colored body with a vermillion colored stripe has high-class quality and cleanliness. Thirdly, the interior is also devised for sightseers. For instance, the seats are slightly inclined to the window direction to enjoy outer views.

VSE is a 10-car train with articulated bogies, so, the total length of one set is not long... 146.8 meters. A total of two sets, 20 units, have been built by Nippon Sharyo. Japan Rail-fan Club (JRC) elected VSE as the 2006 Blue Ribbon Prize. This prize is awarded to the best train, which was launched in the previous year. The reasons for the award to VSE were not only the design, but also incorporation of advanced technologies such as the truck steering control system and the body tilting device for tight curves.

The VSE era is going to go on.

EMU Odakyu 50000 series, VSE, passes through Chitose-Funabashi Station