Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Thomas Land Train on the Fujikyu Line

EMU Fujikyu 5000 series, Thomas Land Train, passes through Tokaichiba Station

Thomas Land is an outdoor theme park operated by Fujikyu Railway Company in Yamanashi Prefecture. It constitutes a part of Fujikyu Highland Resort, which was originally opened as a large skating rink in the early 1960's. As you noticed, Thomas is named after a British TV series, "Thomas and Friends". It is very popular among Japanese kids. Catching onto the popularity of this TV series, Fujikyu opened Thomas Land in 1998.

To visit Thomas Land, the nearest station is Fujikyu Highland on the Fujikyu Line. If you visit there with small children, I recommend you ride a special train, named "Thomas Land Train" from Otsuki Terminal. Thomas Land Train is a poster train with Thomas and his friends' characters on the bodies. The interior of the Thomas Land Train is also fantastic. For instance, there is an imitation cabin just behind the real cabin, so that kids can feel what it's like to drive the train in the cabin.

The vehicle, which goes into service as Thomas Land Train, is the EMU 5000 series. It was originally built by Nippon Sharyo in 1975. Its specification is rather old at this distance of time, but the 5000 series has some advanced equipment of those days, for example, a speed-reducing brake system as a measure against a steep falling gradient.

For your information, you are not required to pay any extra charge to ride Thomas Land Train. You can ride it with only a standard ticket. It will be valuable information for travelers.

An imitation cabin is equipped for children inside Thomas Land Train

Official information about Thomas Land Train (in Japanese):