Saturday, July 15, 2017

EXE-alpha: Renovated Romance Car on the Odakyu Line

EMU Odakyu 30000 series, Romance Car EXE-alpha, passes through Kyodo Station

On March 1st, Odakyu Electric Railway Company launched a renovated Romance Car, EXE-alpha, set numbers 30251 (6-car train) and 30051 (4-car train) of the EMU 30000 series on their tracks. 

The EMU 30000 series, EXE, is the first multipurpose Romance Car on the Odakyu Line. EXE stands for "Excellent Express". It was commissioned in 1996 to replace the old model, the 3100 series, named NSE. Since one set of the train is composed of ten twenty-meter cars (a total length of 200 meters), it has a greatly increased passenger capacity. One set can be broken up into six and four car sections to enhance operational flexibility as a multipurpose Romance Car. Different from the other traditional Romance Car models, such as the 7000 (LSE) and the 50000 (VSE) series, the 30000 series (EXE) doesn't have an upstairs cockpit. 

After 21 years of its operation, the 30000 series, EXE, has been reborn as EXE-alpha. Where are those different? Firstly, the body color was changed from bronze to silver. Some rail-fans may favor it, as a silver medal is superior to a bronze medal. Secondly, the interior was upgraded. For instance, a luggage space was equipped in some cars. It is good news for inbound foreign passengers. Thirdly, the travelling apparatus was changed. For example, the electric control system was replaced from IGBT-VVVF (insulated gate bipolar transistor-variable frequency drive) to SiC-VVVF (silicon carbide-variable frequency drive) inverter system to reduce the electric power consumption.

EXE-alpha provides passengers with extra hospitality.

EMU Odakyu 30000 series, Romance Car EXE (original)

Official information about EXE-alpha, the EMU Odakyu 30000 series (in Japanese):