Saturday, 29 September 2018

Ex-Keio Train: Time Stands Still

Set 3 (DeHa713 + KuHa723) of the EMU Jomo 700 series (ex-Keio 3000 series)

Whenever I visit this small local railway, I feel that time stands still. A train from the old days is still operated as it was at its debut. But where is it?

The answer is Jomo Electric Railway in Gumma Prefecture, some 100 kilometers north of Tokyo. We can see many old trains there, which were originally operated in the Tokyo Metropolis.

The EMU Jomo 700 series was originally built for the Keio-Inokashira line in the 1960s and 1970s. Its former name was the Keio 3000 series. My grandpa, who passed away in 1999, was a railway engineer for Keio Electric Railway. He was in charge of introducing this train. I still remember visiting Keio's Eifukucho rail yard with him and seeing the 3000 series there for the first time. It was brand spanking new, and the stainless body shined brilliantly in my eyes. 

Since then, I have always had a special fondness for these trains. Even after their retirement from Keio, I cannot forget the 3000 series and I sometimes visit Jomo Electric Railway to see them again. I know that many ex-Keio 3000 series are still operated throughout Japan, for instance, Gakunan Railway, Iyo Railway, and Alpico Kotsu. Keio also preserves one unit of the 3000 series in their railway museum; however, the ex-Keio 3000 series on the Jomo Electric Railway retains the most original form.

The Jomo 700 series... it is a time-machine for me to go back to my childhood.

Set 1 (DeHa711 + KuHa721) of the EMU Jomo 700 series (ex-Keio 3000 series)

Official information about the EMU Jomo 700 series (ex-Keio 3000 series) (in Japanese):
Official information about Jomo Electric Railway: