Saturday, 9 February 2019

Night Museum in Saitama City

EMU JR East 183/189 series is exhibited in the Railway Museum, Saitama City

I visited the Railway Museum in Saitama City for the first time in two years. What was the news with this rail-fans' paradise?

The museum opens for limited groups under the name of the Night Museum. This special event is held every weekend from 6.30 pm after the close of the ordinary opening time. I joined the Night Museum on a weekend as a member of one travelers' group.

Firstly, I saw some renovated exhibitions in the outdoor venue. They were the EMU JR East 183 /189 series (KuHa 183-1009, KuHa183-1020, MoHa 189-31 and MoHa 188-31). The 183 /189 series was launched in 1972 for limited express trains on the direct current routes of the Japanese National Railways (JNR). The bodies of these trains are frequently called "JNR limited express color". Although JNR has been abolished, many rail-fans are still boosterish about this coloring, as it fits into any kind of scenery in Japan from urban business centers to mountain forests.

Secondly, I found a new exhibition in the same venue. It was unit E153-104 of the EMU JR East E1 series for the Tohoku and the Joetsu Shinkansens. The E1 series was the first double-decker Shinkansen trains launched in 1994. They were built as commuter trains, which transported large numbers of people during rush hour. One set of the E1 series was composed of 12 cars, which could accommodate 1,235 seats. The E1 series were retired from the tracks in 2012. Unit E153-104 is only one unit, which is preserved.

To be continued...

Unit E153-104 of the EMU JR East E1 series is preserved in the Railway Museum