Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The 999 Train on the Seibu Line

Set 20158 of the EMU Seibu 20000 series, Galaxy Express 999, travels on the Seibu Line

Galaxy Express 999 is a popular TV animation series created by Matsumoto Reiji. The series depicts the future world, where planets in the galactic system are connected to each other by the Galaxy Railway. In this future world set in 2221 AD, rich people have mechanical bodies; meanwhile poor people still have living flesh. The main character, Tetsuro, who is a poor boy, travels in the galactic system by Galaxy Express 999 train on the Galaxy Railway to look for free mechanical bodies with Maetel, who is a Princess of the Machine Empire.

Because Matsumoto Reiji lives in Nerima Ward on the Seibu-Ikebukuro Line, Seibu Railway has been operating a special poster train, Galaxy Express 999 (hereinafter referred to as the 999 train), starting from May, 2009. The first generation 999 train, namely set 3011 of the EMU 3000 series, was operated until December, 2014. The current 999 train, namely set 20158 of the EMU 20000 series, is the second generation one, which was launched on October 8th in 2016. It will be operated until the end of March, 2019.

The EMU Seibu 20000 series debuted in 2000 as a new generation commuter train following the EMU 6000 series. So far, a total of 18 sets, 144 units have been built by Hitachi. The standard cars have blue colored stripes on the aluminum bodies; while the 999 train has green colored bodies with Tetsuro and Maetel characters.

Although Maetel is a beautiful woman, her eyes, which are painted on the front of the 999 train, are a little scary for me.

Side view of the Galaxy Express 999 train