Sunday, October 30, 2016

EMU 8000 Series: Owl on the Shin-Keisei Line

EMU Shin-Keisei 8000 series arrives at Kita-Narashino Station

It is a cliché of this blog, but the railway business in Japan is by no means easy. Many companies are involved in tough competition. Rivals are not only the industry peers, but also private cars, bus services and airlines.

With that kind of background, many railway companies have recently introduced common design commuter trains to reduce the initial cost. For instance, the EMU Sotetsu 10000 series has the same design and the technical specifications as those of the JR East E231 series. Differences between the two models are only the faces, body colors and interiors. As a result, we often see the same kinds of trains here and there. It is not favorable for rail-fans, as the variations decrease. Rail-fans are bizarre lovers.

One of the unique commuter trains in the Tokyo metropolitan area is the EMU Shin-Keisei 8000 series. This model was launched in 1978 as Japan's first adjustable voltage and adjustable frequency (VVVF) train, but the uniqueness is not only its technical specifications but also its face. It looks like an owl. It is definitely my favorite.

The 8000 series is a 6-car train, built by Nippon Sharyo. So far, a total of 9 sets, 54 units have been introduced and 6 sets of these are still operated on the track. Each unit is 18 meter-long with 6 doors. The gauge size is 1,435 mm and its electric system is 1,500 V DC overhead.

The EMU 8000 series... it is a unique owl train on the Shin-Keisei Line

EMU Shin-Keisei 8000 series stands at Takifudo Station