JR East ‘Shikisai’ (4 Seasons) Joyful train
Posted by redracer on February 27, 2007
UPDATE 21-04-2007 – You can now read a review of the latest model here …
JR East converted one of their Ome line 4 car 201 series suburban sets to the ‘Shikisai’ (4 Seasons) Joyful train in 2001. Because this is a mountainous line, the side of the train that looks out on the Tamagawa River valley had the windows changed to a more open type and the seats were changed to let you sit and look in this direction. Each of the cars was painted in a colourful scheme and not long after entering service, flowers or symbols depicting one of each of the four seasons were added. The pantograph was also changed to the more modern single-arm type. The train usually leaved Tachikawa (it’s depot is at Toyoda) and then shuttles between Ome and Okutama (the end of the line) around 6-7 times a day on Saturdays and Sundays only. The Ome departure times in 2005 were as follows … 06:42 (from Tachikawa), 08:56, 10:41, 12:11, 13:35, 15:15, 16:44. The train consist was as follows (from the Okutama end) …
- Kuha200-134 – Spring / Cherry Blossom)
- Moha200-263 – Summer / Sunflowers)
- Moha201-263 – Autumn / Japanese Maple)
- Kuha201-134 – Winter / snowflakes)
In April 2003, Kato (under their Roundhouse ‘repaint’ label) released a model of this train, but based on their standard 201 series cars, so it does not have the panorama windows on one side.
However a company, Shonan Train Models, did release an etched metal window frame set to enable you to do the conversion yourself. Here is a picture of how it comes out …
To commerorate the 60th anniversary of the Ome Line, another change was made in July 2004 which involved changing the blue ‘summer’ car, Moha200-263, to a different flower, the rengeshouma or ‘false anenome’. This (brief, as we shall see next) version has not been modelled. Here is a photo, courtesy of Railfan magazine #526 …
Then in July 2005, JR East decided to repaint the train, in a more plainer colour scheme of a white body with blue stripes, and some depictions of a local area and plants for each season.
- Kuha200-134 – Winter / Okutama Ko (lake) & Yuzu (type of citrus fruit)
- Moha200-263 – Autumn / Hato no Su (Pigeon’s Nest ) Keikoku (gorge) & Momiji (Japanese Maple)
- Moha201-263 – Summer / Mitake San (mountain) & Rengeshouma (False Anenome)
- Kuha201-134 – Spring / Yoshino Baigou (place of plum blossom) & Ume no Hana (Plum Flower)
Kato (as Roundhouse) of course are trying to keep up with all of this, and have a release of the newer version planned for March 2007. Again, this is based on the standard 201 model.
If you are interested in getting the model, please see my page about this on the JMTN Blog.
Here is the Japanese web page of the train, showing the current version.