Saturday, 18 May 2019

Old Express Train in Kyoto Prefecture

DMU KTR001 series travels on the Miyatoyo line, Kyoto Tango Railway

The northern part of Kyoto Prefecture is one of my favorite places. Different from the city of Kyoto, it is idyllically calm and peaceful.

Where is the recommended place to visit? My favorite spot is Hanare-ko (Lake Hanare) in Kyotango City. It is just a tiny lake surrounded by a residential area, but it is a nice place for strolling. Specifically, I like a small peninsula named Hanare-yama (Mt. Hanare) on the southern side of the lake. It is a natural mountain with an ancient mounded tomb at the summit. The full-blown cherries in spring are famous for local people.

To get to this cozy spot, the nearest railway station is Amino on the Kyoto Tango Railway. It takes about two hours from Kyoto by limited express trains, Hashidate, Konotori (stork) or Tango-relay. Usually, the DMU KTR8000 series is operated for Tango-relay, but the DMU KTR001 series was temporally commissioned when I visited there last month. It was lucky for nostalgic train lovers like me. 

The DMU KTR001 series was launched in 1990. A total of 2 sets, 6 units, are built by Fuji Heavy Industries. Currently, one set (set number 2) is still operated on the track as a temporally replacement train. The KTR001 series is a high-decker train having beautiful "champagne gold" bodies. The maximum speed is 120 kilometers per hour. One set has 6 diesel engines. Although the scars are conspicuous on the bodies, the old express train still works on the track in Kyoto Prefecture.

Hanare-ko (Lake Hanare) near Amino station, Kyoto Tango Railway