Monday, 9 July 2018

Countdown to the Last Run: Romance Car LSE

EMU Odakyu 7000 series, Romance Car LSE, travels on the Odawara line (July, 2014)

Odakyu Electric Railway recently made a press release announcing that Romance Car, the EMU 7000 series, LSE (Luxury Super Express), will be retired from regular operation on July 10th.

LSE is the oldest Romance Car at work. It was launched in 1980 to replace the old models. A total of 4 sets, 44 units, were built by Nippon Sharyo and Kawasaki Heavy Industries. Currently, only one set is being operated on the Odawara Line. LSE is articulated cars for a 1,500 V DC electric system and 1,067 mm-wide track gauge. The electric control system is rheostatic. The power regenerative brake is not equipped, since LSE is a limited express train that makes the fewest stops.

LSE inherited its unique design from the senior model, the EMU 3100 series, NSE (New Super Express). For instance, the cockpit is upstairs, so that the passengers can enjoy the view ahead. The classical moquette seats are also similar. On the other hand, LSE has some new designs such as automatic folding doors. LSE is indeed an evolutionary form of NSE.

LSE is a star train on the Odawara line; however, it went through a very difficult time as well. In January, 2010, LSE faced difficulty surviving. A malfunction occurred on its articulated bogies. Many rail fans were anxious about the future of LSE, but it came back onto the track in April 2010, after careful inspection.

Sayonara (good-bye) LSE. Arigatou (thank you) for your great work over a long time.

Romance Car LSE passes through Atsugi station (December, 2016)