Railway buffs filled up Odakyu Electric Railway Co.’s Shinjuku Station platform on Wednesday afternoon to celebrate the inaugural run of the upgraded version of the company’s luxury Romancecar EXE express train.
Romancecar is Odakyu’s signature express train connecting Tokyo with the Hakone hot-spring resort area, Katase Enoshima Station in Kanagawa Prefecture, and Gotemba Station in Shizuoka Prefecture.
According to Odakyu, “EXE” stands for “Excellent Express,” with the newest train being dubbed the EXE Alpha. The current 30000 series has been running for 20 years.
One enthusiastic fan held a sign that said “Congratulations on your debut operation 30000 series EXE Alpha.”
Cars of the new train feature larger bathrooms and storage areas and are of a barrier-free universal design that allocate greater space for passengers in wheelchairs. For security purposes, a system of cameras that are monitored by crewmembers have been installed. The cars are also equipped with a free Wi-Fi service.
As the train readied to depart from Shinjuku at 4:30 p.m., some fans hopped aboard for its maiden trip, which was to take it to Hakone-Yumoto Station in Kanagawa Prefecture. Those fans who could not book seats reluctantly left the platform as it departed.
Odakyu announced separately in October that another set of the Romancecar 70000 series will go online from March 2018.
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