Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Buna: Honored Guest from the Gonoh Line

Resort Shirakami "Buna" train is exhibited at Ueno Terminal

From April 9th to 10th, Ueno Terminal received an honored guest from the Gonoh Line in Tohoku District, some 750 km north of Tokyo.

Who was the honored guest?

She was the sightseeing train, Resort Shirakami "Buna (Japanese beech)", the DMU Class KiHa 48. Buna was exhibited at platform 17 of Ueno Terminal for promoting tourism to the Shirakami Mountains. Shirakami is famous for its unspoiled expanse of virgin forest in the mountains. It was designated as the first site of the World Heritage List in Japan in 1993. Japanese beech trees make up a large portion of the forest.

JR East operates sightseeing trains, Resort Shirakami, on the Gonoh Line in the Shirakami area. A total of 3 sets, namely Resort Shirakami "Buna", "Kumagera (black woodpecker)" and "Aoike (blue pond)", are on duty. Buna is a 4-car train (KiHa 48-701, 1701, 1543 and 702) including two compartment cars. It was modified from the diesel railcar Class KiHa 40 by JR East Tsuchizaki Factory and Niigata Transys in 2003. The large windows to view the beautiful scenery are distinctive.

On May 6th in 2015, JR East made a press release announcing that the new Buna train will be launched in July, 2016, replacing the existing Buna train. The new Buna is the HB-E300 series, a diesel hybrid train. The specification is similar with those on the Koumi Line and the Senseki-Tohoku Line.

I can't wait to see the new Buna.

Side view of Buna train

Official information about the sightseeing train, Resort Shirakami:
Official information about the sightseeing train, Resort Shirakami (in Japanese): 
Official information about the new Buna train (in Japanese):