"Hiei" Unique Sightseeing Train Operation BegunFans Queue at Eizan Railway
Eizan Railway, headquartered in Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, started operation of the sightseeing train "Hiei" on March 21, running from Demachiyanagi Station to Yase-hieizan-guchi Station. Approximately 50 passengers, including railway enthusiasts, got on board and enjoyed the charms of the brand new car inspired by the sacredness of Mt. Hiei.
The car design of the Hiei train is quite unique, featuring dark green cars with a golden oval on the front. The one-car train operates 19 round trips per day on weekdays except Tuesday, and 12 round trips on weekends and public holidays. It can be ridden for the ordinary train fare.
Approximately 150 people queued up for the first train from early morning at Demachiyanagi Station as passengers were allowed to board in the order of arrival. The departure ceremony was held a little after noon, when Yukihiro Kato, director of the Kyoto Chapter of Japan Railfan Club, presented a bouquet of flowers to the train driver.
At 12:22 p.m. when the station manager shouted "Shuppatsu-shinko," meaning "Off we go," as the signal for departure, the Hiei train slowly started off. Railway enthusiasts waiting on the platform clicked snapshots of the train's debut.
One passenger, an office worker from Nakagyo Ward, joyfully said, "This is much more stylish than what can be seen in pictures."(Translated by Mie Hiuzon, Psyche et l’Amour, Inc.)