Sunday, 7 August 2016

EMU A3000 Series: Shizuoka Rainbow Train

EMU Shizutetsu A3000 series arrives at Naganuma Station on the Shizuoka-Shimizu Line

The railway business in Japan is by no means easy. Specifically, railway companies in local cities and the countryside are in a tough situation because of motorization and/or depopulation. Many local routes have been abolished in the past three decades. What's more, the introduction of new trains is like a dream within a dream for them.

Wait a moment! Look at Shizuoka Railway (Shizutetsu)! This small private railway company recently introduced a new model for the first time in 43 years. On March 24th, a brand new model, A3000 series, debuted on the Shizuoka-Shimizu Line.

Shizuoka is the main city of Shizuoka Prefecture, about 180 km west of Tokyo. Shizutetsu has been operating the 11km-long Shizuoka-Shimizu Line in the urban area since 1908. Connecting Shin-Shizuoka and Shin-Shimizu, the whole route is electrified double track. The gauge size is 1,067 mm, and the electric system is 600 V DC overhead.

The new model, A3000 series, is a stainless-steel 2-car train with VVVF (variable voltage and variable frequency) electric control system. It has a double system in case of the occurrence of failures. The nickname is Shizuoka Rainbow Train. As its name suggests, each train set has a different body color. It is similar to that of the EMU 1000 series on the Keio-Inokashira Line.

The first set, namely A3001F, has a light-blue colored body. The company plans to introduce a total of 12 sets with seven body colors by 2024. The beautiful A3000 series train has changed the atmosphere of Shizuoka City.

EMU A3000 series passes through Tomoegawa Railway Bridge near Shin-Shimizu Station

Official information about the EMU Shizutetsu A3000 series (in Japanese):