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Redesigned, more eco-friendly trains set for Fukushima's scenic Tadami Line

A visualization of the Series KiHa E120 diesel multiple unit train which will be introduced to the Tadami Line in its new design is seen in this image provided by the East Japan Railway Co.'s Sendai branch.
One of the Tadami Line's old trains is seen traveling over a bridge in the winter snow, in this file photo taken in Yanaizu, Fukushima Prefecture, on Dec. 18, 2013. (Mainichi/Masashi Yomogida)

FUKUSHIMA -- The East Japan Railway Co.'s Sendai branch has announced the spring 2020 introduction of new more environmentally friendly trains for the Tadami Line running between the northern Japan prefectures of Fukushima and Niigata.

A section of the Tadami Line remains closed due to bridges and other equipment being washed away by torrential rains that hit the area in 2011.

The trains will sport a new design inspired by the rich natural scenery visible along the line. It's been around 40 years since the current stock was put into service, which the company's Sendai branch says are being replaced due to their increasing decrepitude.

Eight diesel multiple unit (DMU) Series KiHa E120 trains will be introduced in color schemes of white, deep green and green. Their look is meant to express scenery visible from the trains' windows: snowy landscapes, verdant forests and the Tadami River.

The trains include more spacious western-style bathroom facilities that can be used by passengers in wheelchairs. Its engine is designed to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide and other particles, making it reportedly better for the environment than the current trains in service.

The same model is already in use on lines including the nearby Banetsu West Line, and the newly redesigned versions will go into service on the Tadami Line between Aizu-Wakamatsu and Aizu-Kawaguchi Stations.

(Japanese original by Naoki Watanabe, Fukushima Bureau)

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