Express train linking Asakusa, Aizu readies for debut(先進的デザインに歓声 リバティ会津、田島駅で披露)

Revaty Aizu arrives at Aizutajima Station on March 5.(駅に到着した新型特急「リバティ会津」=3月5日、南会津町・会津田島駅)

 FUKUSHIMA - Revaty Aizu, a new limited express train linking Tokyo with Fukushima Prefecture's Aizu region, was unveiled last month.
 The Tobu Railway Co. service will enable passengers to travel between Asakusa and Aizutajima stations without changing trains.


 The event was jointly held by Tobu, Yagantetsudo Railway Co. and Aizu Railway Co. in the hope of further generating a mood of excitement ahead of the start of operations on April 21.
 The three-car express train rolled into Aizutajima Station in the town of Minamiaizu shortly after noon on March 5. Local residents and other visitors welcomed the futuristic-looking train with cheers, and also took pictures of its body, painted a sophisticated shade of beige.


 The express train will make four round trips a day between Asakusa and Aizutajima stations. A one-way journey takes between 3 hours and 9 minutes and 3 hours and 32 minutes.


 ◆Edo-style interior
 Inside Revaty Aizu, the seat covers are in edomurasaki purple, a traditional hue of the Edo period (1603-1867). The arms of the seats feature Inden dyed and lacquered leatherwork in a traditional Edo-style pattern.


 Wood grain features prominently in the interior. The ceiling is decorated with curved lines depicting the flows of the Kinugawa and Sumidagawa rivers, which run through some of the areas served by Tobu railway lines.
 The express train is also equipped with a multifunction toilet for people in wheelchairs.


 Minamiaizu Mayor Sokichi Oya said: "With its detailed design motifs of Edo culture and nature, the express train offers passengers a comfortable space. We'd like to attract passengers by introducing Aizu culture."


 A test-ride was held on March 10, when the express train took passengers between Asakusa and Tobu-Nikko stations for the first time. There was little vibration during the comfortable ride. "I was surprised at how quiet it was," said one passenger, while another said, "With this express train, many people can probably feel Aizu is closer than before."


 About 150 people, plus members of media outlets, took part in the test-ride. The event was organized as part of a tour to Nikko Toshogu shrine's Yomeimon gate, which reopened to the public following what has come to be known as "the major restoration work of the Heisei era."

( Translated by The Japan News )


 【 2017年3月6日付など・福島民友新聞掲載 】