• Kyodo News


A growing number of aging train cars are being replaced by more energy-efficient models as railroads move to cut operating costs and limit their impact on the environment.

But train enthusiasts are lamenting the passing of the older models, some of which date back to the 1960s and 1970s.

Nagoya Railroad Co., which serves Aichi and Gifu prefectures, has decided to stop using the 7000-series Panorama Car train by next March.

The series debuted in 1961 and was the first train to offer seats and a wide window in the front of the train. This was made possible by placing the driver’s cab on top of the compartment so passengers can take in the oncoming view.

“We’ll introduce more new models from the viewpoint of energy-conservation,” a Nagoya Railroad representative said, noting the power needs of the steel Panorama Cars are double that of the new models.

In Tokyo, the well-known orange trains of the Chuo Line, one of the most crowded commuter lines in the metropolis, are also disappearing.

East Japan Railway Co. is replacing the 201-series cars, which debuted in 1979, with lighter cars by the end of next March. The new, improved cars, however, will still bear an orange stripe.

Keio Corp., another major railway in Tokyo, plans to replace the 3000-series cars on the Inokashira Line with new models by the end of March 2012.

The cars’ fronts come in seven colors, including blue, pink, purple and beige. They have been popular with passengers and residents near the line since they debuted in 1962.

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