Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Old Castle City in Kyoto Prefecture

Set F2 of the EMU JR West 223-5500 series stands at Fukuchiyama station

Fukuchiyama is an old city located in the northern part of Kyoto Prefecture, some 600km west of Tokyo. As of the year 2018, it has a population of 77,000. Fukuchiyama has grown as the castle city since the 16th century. We can see the beautiful castle tower in the center of the city. The present building was reconstructed in 1985, but keeps its medieval style. It is also known as a gorgeous city viewing spot among local people, as it was constructed at the summit of a small hill.

To get to Fukuchiyama castle, the nearest railway station is Fukuchiyama on the JR West and Kyoto Tango Railway lines. When I visited there, I came across the EMU JR West 223-5500 series on the JR West Fukuchiyama line. It is a 2-car train for operating without conductors. A total of 16 sets, 32 cars, were built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Kinki Sharyo in 2008. The 223-5500 series is composed of 2 cars... one motor car (KuMoHa 223-5500) and one trailer (KuHa 223-5500). The electric control system is IGBT-VVVF (variable frequency drive). You can see a special pantograph on the roof for deforesting the trolley wire. For distinguishing the 223-5500 series from the other groups of the 223 series, look at the gangway on the front of the train. The 223-5500 series only has an orange colored stripe on it.

It is fun for me to perceive the fine difference among the EMU 223 series trains as a trainspotter.

Fukuchiyama castle near Fukuchiyama station