Kumamoto Electric Railway or Kumaden is a railway company in Kumamoto, the capital city of Kumamoto prefecture. Does Kumamoto ring any bell when you read it? Or maybe I should ridge it to its mascot - Kumamon? If so, maybe I will write more about the area next time.
5000 Series History
The 5000 series used on Kumamoto Electric Railway is not a brand new train when it arrived at Kumaden in 1980s. These train sets are Tokyu Corporation's first generation 5000 series used previously in Tokyo. Built in 1950s, which mean they are about 56 years old.
When they arrived at Kumaden, additional features were added such as LCD display and IC-card readers, but due to the light frame, no air-conditional system is added.
In 2004 ATS system was added to 2 sets of rolling stock:
- 5101A (formally 5101)
- 5102A (formlly 5102)
5000 Series Special Livery
This special livery train run for a year, from 13 Oct 2012 to 12 Oct 2014.
Other than the livery, the announcement used in the train was by Kumiko Watanabe「渡辺久美子」, the voice actor of Sgt. Frog.
5000 Series Interior
The interior didn't change much since the day it was produced, except the additional of LCD screen and IC card reader.
Currently this train is serving the Kamikumamoto Line 「上熊本線」between Kitakumamoto 「北熊本」 and Kamikumamoto「上熊本」. They are only run on Sunday.
Last day of Service
The last day of service will be on 14 Feb 2016. After which, it will be preserved.
Any rail fans who is going to Kyushu, you may want to try to catch a ride before they are retired on Valentine Day 2016. If you love one is a rail fan, maybe you could bring him or her on a ride on this retiring 5101A and keep it as a lasting memory?