Monday, 14 August 2017

Two-faced Diesel Rail-car on the Bantan Line

Diesel rail-car Class KiHa 41 of the JR West KiHa 40 series arrives at Takeda Station

When I visited Takeda Castle Ruins last month, I came across a rare diesel rail-car, which had two kinds of "faces", at Takeda Station on the JR West Bantan Line. What was it?

It was the Class KiHa 41 diesel rail-car. The KiHa 41 was originally built as a single cab car namely the Class KiHa 47. It was, then, renovated as a double-cab diesel rail-car, and renamed the Class KiHa 41. The rounded face on one side is the original one; while the flat face on the other side is attached as a renovation. Thanks to the double-cab, the Class 41 is able to be operated in two directions as a single-car train. I like this rare two-faced diesel rail-car as a rail-fan. You also probably feel that way.

In the meantime, the JR West Bantan Line also has two faces. The section between Himeji and Teramae is electrified and is a typical urban commuter line. The EMU 103-3500 series is operated every half an hour on average. On the other hand, the section between Teramae and Wadayama is un-electrified and a typical local line. The Class KiHa 41 or the KiHa 40 series diesel rail-car is operated every hour on average. It is similar with the JR East Hachiko Line, which also has an electrified urban commuter section and a local un-electrified section.

Two-faced diesel rail-car and the two-faced route, we can derive great pleasure from the Bantan Line.

Diesel rail-car Class KiHa 41 of the JR West KiHa 40 series stands at Teramae Station