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  1. Hello all, after a bit of silence on my behalf, here is the excuse for my absence. A trip to Kinugawa in Tochigi and after that to Ibaraki, the usual place and then some. Kinugawa no. 5 just arrived in Shinjuku. 253-1000 Series, big time baller. Massive chairs. Weird livery, which I slowly start to appreciate. Some train from the window we overtook. With advertisement. I don't know what this thing is. Yours truly and mini-yours truly. Brainwashing completed. "Look dad! A train!" "Yes, that is probably the 10th Keihin-Tōhoku line train we've seen already..." First encounter with an Aizu Railway train. AT-600 and AT-700 type. My excitement was all over the place. The trip on the JR East Kinugawa was most pleasant. If possible, I'd ride it again, but only to go beyond Kinugawa-Onsen station to Aizu Wakamatsu station. The view from the hotel room was... Well, let's say: almost perfect. Another exciting encounter was had a few days later with the seasonal rapid Ashikaga Ōfuji Matsuri-gō, ran by a 485 Series, T18 formation. Probably for one of the last times this formation runs. One end of the train is an Hokkaidō styled front with double roof lights. Very macho. xD Next to that, the Kasama Hi Matsuri-gō Rapid service ran with an E531 Series. Special headmark included. I actually didn't know this one was running, so I was very surprised to see it! In the attachments are some extras that aren't really worth mentioning, but are still interesting enough to share. A bad snapshot of the recently repainted Tōbu 100 Series Spacia 101 formation is included as well. Yes. It's gold. Like Spandau Ballet. The Tōbu 6050 Series also almost stole my heart, but my finances and rationale keep me at bay from liking it. This trip has however seriously triggered my interest in creating hillside scenery. P.s. Don't like my filthy hipster filters over some pictures? Feel free to donate a good digital camera. PM me if interested.
  2. JR East will modify a 719 series 2-car train for excursion operation on the Ban'etsu West Line. Called the 'Frutia' or 'Frutea' (apparently a combination of fruit and tea), one car will have a cafe counter and the other will have seating. The livery is inspired by red brick and traditional black plaster of lineside neighborhoods as well as the region's beautiful natural areas. Also influencing both exterior and interior details and styling is Japanese/Western architecture and design from the Meiji (1868-1912) and Taisho (1912-1926) periods. There's more about this that I can't seem to shape into coherent English :(. It will run on the Ban'etsu West Line between Aizu-Wakamatsu and Koriyama, primarily on Sundays and holidays from the end of April 2015. On board, original sweets and beverages made from Fukushima produce will be served, http://news.mynavi.jp/news/2014/11/27/476/ http://railf.jp/news/2014/11/28/150000.html http://www.jr-sendai.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/fruitea.pdf
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