Thursday, 15 March 2018

Two Rebirth Stories in Ome City

Electric locomotive ED16 1 is preserved in the Ome Railway Park (April, 2013)

Ome is a small city located in the western part of Tokyo Metropolis. I visited this suburban city with my family last month, and found two rebirth stories.

The first story is about plums. Ome was famous for its plum blossoms, after which the city was named. In late February, the plum trees showed off their beautiful white and pink-colored flowers here and there. It was the herald of spring. The tragedy occurred in 2009. Many plum trees in the city were infected with Plum pox virus. It was the first case in Japan. After the specialists' investigation, the mayor decided to cut down all the plum trees in public places, and replanted seedlings. Now that nine years have passed since the replanting, the plum trees in Ome Plum Park have bloomed beautifully, although the trees are still small.

The second rebirth story is about the exhibitions in Ome Railway Park. This unique museum was opened in 1962 by ex-Japanese National Railways. A total of 11 retired rolling stocks, such as EMUs and locomotives, were exhibited. The problem was that some exhibitions were damaged by time. In 2017, the museum finally decided to repair precious exhibitions such as the electric locomotive, Class ED16. As you may know, the Class ED16 was a direct current locomotive for freight trains. It was launched in 1931 on the Chuo Main Line and the Joetsu Line.

I am looking forward to the rebirthing of plum blossoms and the old rolling stock in Ome City. 

Ome Plum Park (March, 2018)