Lavender train makes Soya debut, will operate until October 29
The multirole transport “Lavender Train” was newly constructed this year, and on September 22 in the Northern Hokkaido city of Wakkanai, it operated in public for the first time on the JR Soya Line as an express train. After operating until October 29, it will be replaced by the pink exterior “Hamanasu Train” in November. In autumn amidst the trees changing colors, the Soya Line will feature alluringly colored trains.
At 12:40 p.m., a train colored purple to symbolize lavenders arrived at Wakkanai Station. As passengers from places like Sapporo stepped out of the train, some were seen photographing the rare sight of the colored train exterior.
A tourist from the Kanto area commented, “The long journey from Sapporo was very pleasant.” And a man from Aichi Prefecture boarding a return express service headed to Asahikawa voiced excitement, “I have heard there are counter seats and such. I want to take photos of the beautiful nature during the ride.”
The train is made up of five cars. Each seat is equipped with an electrical socket for things like charging mobile phones, and the entire train has a free, public LAN “Wi-Fi”. There is even a “free-space car” with features like table seating and a counter area.
The Lavender and Hamanasu Trains will link Wakkanai to both Sapporo and Asahikawa as the express “Soya” service and express “Sarobetsu” service, and will be available for use with standard passenger tickets and express tickets.
JR Hokkaido commented on their expectations, saying, “We are not receiving many reservations during the Lavender and Hamanasu service periods due to COVID-19. However, we hope this will provide a great opportunity for people to learn about trains and enjoy trips after COVID-19 subsides.”
JR Wakkanai Station
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