Monday, 27 February 2017

Sayonara 01 on the Ginza Line

Set 30 (Kumamon poster train) of the EMU Tokyo Metro 01 series arrives at Shibuya Station

It is already late February. Although it is still cold, the sunlight is getting stronger. Spring will soon be here in Tokyo. In Japan, spring is the season for parting. Students graduate from their schools or universities, and go their own ways. Many businessmen and businesswomen leave their offices, and retire or move to other offices. Trains are the same.

On January 27th, Tokyo Metro, a subway operator in the metropolitan area, announced that their EMU 01 series on the Ginza Line will be retired on March 10th. The 01 series was launched in 1983 to replace the old non-air-conditioned cars. A total of 38 sets, 228 units of the 01 series have been built by Kasasaki Heavy Industries, Nippon Sharyo, Tokyu Sharyo and Kinki Sharyo over fourteen years, but only one set, namely set 01-130, remains on the track. Its successor is the EMU 1000 series.

Currently, set 01-130 is operated as a Kumamon poster train. Kumamon is a mascot of Kumamoto Prefecture on Kyushu Island. As you may know, there was an earthquake disaster in Kumamoto Prefecture in 2016. The Kumamon poster train is operated as a part of earthquake reconstruction support. The same poster trains are also being operated on the Kumamoto Electric Railway, using the 01 series moved from the Ginza Line.

There are only two weeks to the last run of the 01 series. Unfortunately, I don't have time to see it. Sayonara (good-bye) and arigatou (thank you) 01 series on the Ginza Line.

Side view of set 30 (Kumamon poster train)