Thursday, 26 April 2018

Rare Train on the Musashino Line

Set MU2 of the EMU JR East E231 series stands at Tokyo Station on the Musashino line

It is fun for me to perceive a fine difference between urban commuter trains like any other. Once I come across a rare train on the way to my office or somewhere on business, it makes me happy even if it is a packed train during rush hours. It's a perk of being a trainspotter like me. Trainspotters are easy-going people, aren't they?

I recently luckily came across set MU2 of the EMU E231 series on the JR East Musashino line. It was transferred from the Sobu line on September 19th last year. Set MU2 was originally a 10-car train with yellow-colored stripes but was decreased to an 8-car train with orange, brown and white-colored stripes.

Why was set MU2 transferred from the Sobu line? It is a slightly complicated story. In 2015, JR East launched a new commuter train model, EMU E235 series, on the Yamanote line. The introduction of the new model caused JR East to make train transfers one after another. Firstly, 15 sets of EMU E231-500 series on the Yamanote line were transferred to the Sobu line. Secondly, three sets of E231 series on the Sobu line including Set MU2 were transferred to the Musashino line.

This volkerwanderung still continues for the time being. Finally, ten sets of the EMU 205 series on the Musashino line will be transferred to Jakarta, Indonesia by the year 2020 to spend a second life after retirement from the tracks in Japan.

Side view of set MU2 of the EMU JR East E231 series