This one is a typical example of nostalgic/memories purchase. As you may already know, I spent 6 months in Japan in 2010 and lived in Fukuoka for almost 3 months. This is simply the train I took every morning to go to school (japanese classes)…
This is a 4 cars train with front and tail lights. Comes with the usual sheet of stickers to put on and uses rapido couplers.
This 5000 series runs on the Tenjin (Fukuoka) – Omuta line on Kyushu. It’s operated by the Nishi Nippon Railway Company (Nishitetsu) that runs other lines around Fukuoka, the Tenjin-Omuta line being the longest. Nishitetsu also operates buses as well as highway coaches.Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
This line has the particularity of having a standard 1,435 mm gauge instead of the 1,067 mm Cape gauge used all across Japan (except for the Shinkansen of course). It runs almost paralel to the JR Kagoshima line and allows comfortable connexions to various touristic places such as Dazaifu or Yanagawa from the Tenjin center of Fukuoka. It usually runs in coupled formations in order to make longer 9-12 cars trains (they exist in both 3 and 4 cars sets).
With it’s bright blue color and the famous and weird asymmetric windshield, it’s quite an usual train to see! I didn’t love it at first sight but it became so iconic of my stay in Fukuoka and my life in Japan that I had to love it in the end!
It was my first Micro Ace model. As I heard lots of good thing about them and the fact that this 4 cars train costed me the price of a 6 cars Shinkansen: I was expecting a lot.
Mission accomplished: it looks perfect. I have nothing to say about the molds. It’s probably easier to make this kind of “boxed-design” trains than a rounded Shinkansen nose but Micro-Ace did a perfect job on this one!
I relly like the windows on this train. From the windshield to the cross shaped side windows, it’s really an original design.
It looks like a classic train with it’s shape but the bright blue gives a modern look. That makes a mixed feeling when looking at it. It’s the kind of trains you don’t forget easily (I guess). The few markings are nice but as usual: I never take the time to put the stickers on.
The motor car rooftop and underbody are well detailed. The pantograph is metallic and it’s “out of the box”: nothing to add (where it’s common to have to add antenas or other details on Tomix/Kato models). Seing the price, I guess it’s the least to do!
I’m a little disappointed by the proximity of coupled cars, the gap is wide, probably due to rapido couplers. Strangely, the gap isn’t the same between all the cars, closer around the motor car. But I’m really being picky there, it’s an awesome looking train.
It runs well and it’s a pleasure to see this light blue little squared snake crawling on the tracks. I’m really happy I got this train, first because it’s nostalgic, but also because it’s original (compared to the more usual Shinkasnen and Yamanote stuff) and looks great.
What I like:
- It’s the train that I rode every day in Japan
- The bright color scheme
- The windows, especially the windshield
What I don’t like
- The rapido couplers
- The price (I would have loved coupling multiple units if this was less expensive)
- Operated by: Nishitetsu
- Country: Japan
- Type: EMU (electrical multiple unit)
- Service started: 1975
- Service ended: still in service
- Max speed: 110km/h