EMU JR East 485 series, "New Nanohana", stands at Shinjuku Station (May, 2013)
On May 27th, JR East Chiba Branch Office made a press release announcing that "New Nanohana" will soon be retired from the track.
The EMU 485 series, New Nanohana, is classified as a Joyful Train (leisure train) by JR East. It is a 6-car train with AC-DC (Alternate Current - Direct Current) dual electric systems. Thanks to the dual system, New Nanohana can be operated on most of the tracks except non-electrified ones on the JR East lines. Its blue colored body with a white colored stripe is vivid and my favorite; but it is not the color of a Nanohana (canola flower). The Nanohana color (i.e. yellow color), is used only on the frontal face of the train. That is a bit strange. New Nanohana is known as an "ozashiki train", whose interior is arranged as a Japanese style straw-matted room, but it is also possible to arrange as a standard cross-seated train... quite unique.
I am concerned about the post-New Nanohana train. After the retirement of New Nanohana, who will take over the role of Joyful Train in the Chiba area? It has not been announced yet from JR East. I am also anxious about the future of the other Joyful Trains, such as Resort-Yamadori, Irodori, Utage, Hana and Yuu. They have also become old. I can't take my eyes off the railway news reports.
Sayonara (good-bye) and Arigato (thank you) New Nanohana. The last run is planned on the 21st of August, 2016.