Thursday, May 4, 2017

Mie: Another Access Route to the G7 City

DMU JR Central KiHa 75 series, Rapid train "Mie", stands at Nagoya Station

Shima is a resort city in Mie Prefecture, about 510 km west of Tokyo. It is a famous area for enjoying marine activities, with a beautiful archipelago and cultivation of pearls. Shima is also known as the host city for the 2016 G7 Summit. To get to this G7 city, the most common route is the Kintetsu Line. It takes two hours from Nagoya to Kashikojima, the center of the resort area, by a gorgeous limited express train, Shimakaze (Breeze in the Shima area). A leisure train, Tsudoi (gathering), is also popular among families with children.

What else? Please don't forget that JR Central also has an access route to the area. It is the rapid train, Mie, operated between Nagoya and Toba. It takes about two hours via the Kansai Main Line, the Ise Railway Line, the Kisei Main Line and the Sangu Line.

Mie is operated by DMU (diesel multiple unit), because the section between Kawarada and Toba is non-electrified. The vehicle is the JR Central's KiHa 75 series. It was launched in 1993 to replace the old DMU models in the Nagoya area. So far, a total of 40 sets, 80 units have been built by Nippon Sharyo.

Although it is a minor access route to the Shima area, I saw many passengers on the Mie rapid train, when I used it last year. It was probably because the Mie's fare is lower than that of Kintetsu limited express train. Specifically, young passengers prefer the Mie rapid train.

Side view of the DMU KiHa 75 series

Official information about the DMU KiHa 75 series (in Japanese):