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  1. 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
  2. Here's an excellent video posted in the last 24 hours by TN5DMK2. This is a collection of video recorded between September 2012 and August 2013 featuring locomotives C57 1, C56 160, C11 227, C11 190, C12 66, C11 325, C10 8, C61 20, C57 180, C56 44, and C11 207. The lines are: JR West Yamaguchi Line, Mooka Railway, JR East Suigun, Shin'etsu Main, Ban'etsu West, and Narita Lines, Chichibu Railway, Oigawa Railway, and JR Hokkaido Hakodate Main Line. A really great collection of footage, nearly an hour long. All great looking locomotives, I like the proportions and drivers of C61 20 the most. Amongst the many good scenes is night video at Oigawa's Senzu Station around 23:30, and C61 20 motoring up the Shin'etsu Line's 25 permil grade between Matsuida and Yokokawa staring around 48:30. Apparently D51 498 (absent from this video) was pulled from this service at the last minute, and DD51 842 at the end of the train is pushing a bit to make it up the hill.
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