Saturday, 11 March 2017

JNR-type "Shibui" AC-DC Train in the Hokuriku Area

EMU Ainokaze-Toyama Railway 413 series stands at Takaoka Station

Do you know the Japanese word "shibui"? It is a characteristic Japanese adjective, but it is not easy to translate into English. There are two meanings. One is simple; it means a sharp food taste. The other one is a bit complicated; it means quiet and/or classic while being cool. Let's see an actual example of the latter meaning on the railways.

The EMU 413 series is an AC-DC dual mode train on the Hokuriku Main Line. It was launched in 1986 by the Japanese National Railways (JNR). Using secondhand equipment from the old express trains, the 413 series were built by JNR Mattou Factory (present JR West Kanazawa Rail Yard). Currently, 6 sets of the 413 series belong to JR West and 5 sets belong to Ainokaze-Toyama Railway.

Please look at the photos. You can see the character of the so-called "JNR-type" EMUs in the front design. It has two large rounded lights, panoramic windows and a gangway connection. The hem of the body is squeezed. The 413 series has quiet dark blue-colored bodies. Its design is classic, but cool. The 413 series is exactly "shibui", isn't it?

The similar JNR-type models are also seen in the Tokyo metropolitan area, such as the EMU 115 series DC trains, but the body color of the 115 series is less "shibui" than that of the 413 series. The EMU 413 series is definitely my favorite "shubui" AC-DC train on the Hokuriku Main Line.

EMU Ainokaze-Toyama Railway 413 series leaves Takaoka Station