JR East announced on 26 May 2017 that the design of the sightseeing carriage ‘Pokémon with You Train’ that is running along the Ofunato Line in the Tohoku region will get renewed. It will start operating from 15 July 2017.
The ‘Pokémon with You Train’ is a remodeled KiHa 100 diesel train. The inside and outside of the train were remodeled using Pokémon as an inspiration to help the region revitalize and reconstruct after the great earthquake in 2011.
The train started its run in December 2012, when it operated between Ichinoseki (Iwate prefecture) and Kesennuma (Miyagi prefecture) as the ‘Pokemon Train Kesennuma.’ The renewal of the design was announced in April this year and the train stopped operating on 7 May 2017. Over 4 million people have used it since it started operating 4 years and 5 months ago.
According to the announcement, the concept for the new train is ‘Enjoying time on the train as parent and child with Pikachu.’ The outside of the train was designed after Pikachu, who is one of the partners of the main character. The inside uses the colors of Pikachu as well, making it mostly yellow and brown. In the play-carriage of the train, children can find toys that imitate the engine room or the cab of the train, as well as a sofa.
The train will start operating again on 15 July 2017. Just like before the renewal, it will run between Ichinoseki and Kesennuma during weekends and the summer holidays. It departs from Ichinoseki at 11:01 and arrives in Kesennuma at 12:51. It leaves Kesennuma again at 14:37 and arrives in Ichinoseki at 16:34. Of course the labels of the station names will also be renewed.
What do you think? Would you ride the train if given the chance?