Saturday, 5 November 2016

Sayonara, Hamarin Poster Train on the Blue Line

EMU Yokohama MS 3321F, Hamarin, is exhibited in Nippa Rail Yard on the Blue Line

Railway festivals season has come again in Japan. As you may know, it originated from the opening of Japan's first railway that was completed on October 14th in 1872. In commemoration of this special day, the Japanese Government designated October 14th as Railway Day in 1994. Since then, many railway operators have started to hold special public events in the autumn, such as rail yard tours and special memorial train operations.

This year, I visited Nippa Rail Yard on the Blue Line of Yokohama Municipal Subway. It was opened to the public on October 30th as an event, named the 2016 Hamarin Festival. My purpose of the visit was to take pictures and to say good-bye to the Hamarin poster train, set 3321F of the EMU 3000N series. What is Hamarin? It is a mascot character of the Transportation Bureau of Yokohama City. Being ornamented with Hamarin and the other decoration stickers, this poster train has been used for municipal activities, such as children's painting exhibitions in the trains. The Hamarin poster train will soon revert to an ordinary commuter train. According to the Transportation Bureau, the last run of the Hamarin poster train will be on November 6th. Sayonara (good-bye) and Arigato (thank you), Hamarin poster train.

In the meantime, the Transportation Bureau announced at the event site that a new model, the EMU 3000V series, will debut onto the Blue Line in 2017. It will replace the old model such as the EMU 3000A series in the near future.

EMU Yokohama Municipal Subway 3000A (left) and 3000N (Hamarin=right) series

Official information about the rolling stock of Yokohama Municipal Subway (in Japanese):