Saturday, July 2, 2016

Kansai: The 103 Kingdom

EMU JR West 103-3500 series stands at Himeji Station on the Bantan Line

The human body is subject to metabolism. The same for railways. The old trains are constantly being replaced by the new models in Japan. The old commuter trains, which have been introduced by ex-Japanese National Railways (JNR), are being replaced by new ones by JR group companies.

The EMU 103 series is a typical example. The 103 series was launched in 1963 by JNR. A total of 3,447 units have been built for 21 years by many manufacturers such as Kisha Seizo, Tokyu Sharyo and Kinki Sharyo. Its technical specification is rather old, so, most of the 103 series have already been retired from the tracks and scrapped. We can't see it in the Tokyo metropolitan area any more. It is just a memory for Tokyoites.

But wait a moment! Don't forget about the Kansai area! We can still see many 103 series there. For instance, please visit Kyoto Station, some 500 km west of Tokyo. The light-green colored 103 series, 4-car trains, frequently arrive at and depart from the platform number 8, 9 and 10 on the JR West Nara Line. Another example is Himeji Station about 640 km west of Tokyo. The wine-red colored 103-3500 series, 2-car trains, are seen at platform number 1 and 2 on the JR West Bantan Line. For your information, the 103-3500 series is operated without a conductor on board.

The Kansai area... it is the kingdom of the 103 series, old nostalgic JNR commuter trains.

EMU JR West 103 series stands at Kyoto Station on the Nara Line