By MAMORU NAGAYA/ Staff Writer
March 22, 2023 at 07:30 JST
ECHIZEN, Fukui Prefecture--For the first time in six years, Fukui Railway Co., which is based here, will introduce a new localized train modeled on the charms of Fukui Prefecture.
The train's exterior design is characterized by straight lines, featuring blue and green colors in tribute to the sky and ground of the prefecture.
Introduced at a cost of about 390 million yen ($2.8 million), the new three-car train will start operations on March 27.
"We hope people will come from across the country to ride the train," said Fukui Railway President Haruo Murata, placing high hopes on the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line to bring in tourists when its extended section in the prefecture opens next spring.
The new train is 21.4 meters long, 2.6 meters wide and 3.8 meters tall, weighing 33 tons.
With a capacity of 115 passengers, it can reach a top speed of about 65 kph.
Thanks to a new motor, as well as LED lights installed inside the train, it can reduce power consumption by about 30 percent compared to conventional trains, according to the operator.
Hand straps hanging near the doors are modeled after Echizengani (snow crabs from Echizen) and the red panda, a popular animal at the Nishiyama Zoo in Sabae, which stands along the line.
In-train displays installed at four locations show footage of sightseeing spots along the route.
The seats are manufactured by Seiren Co., a leading comprehensive textile maker based in Fukui, featuring colors and patterns themed on rice paddies and rivers along the line to represent the flow of water.
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