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JR West Thunderbird

I just happened across an eBay auction for a "Thunderbird" 7-Car consist in JNR red/beige livery which very much looked like a JR West Raichō or Kitakinki. After digging a little deeper, it turns out that the seller actually directly translated the Kanji of 雷鳥 to "Thunder bird". This, whilst literally correct, is a mistranslation of the train name which is, of course, the Raichō.

Little did I know that the JR West Thunderbird actually steals its name from the Raichō, which means "thunder bird" in Japanese. The bird is actually the Rock Ptarmigan, a native to the Tate[yama] Mountain Range of the Toyama region (which is where the train[s] travel to.)

Interesting to know that JR West first called the Express the 'Raichō', then released a 'Super Raichō' and then created a new service to the same area with the same name, but this time in english: the 'Thunderbird'.

Going through my galleries, turns out I have more shots of the Thunderbird than I care to remember!

Thunderbird passing Suita JR Tokaido Line to Osaka (from Ogaki) Thunderbird approaching Ogaki Thunderbird heading to Osaka Height limit

Thunderbird passing Suita Thunderbird heading to Osaka Thunderbird heading to Osaka

Twilight Express EF81 104 joins (passing Thunderbird) Thunderbird coming into ShinOsaka Thunderbird enters Toyama Station

Thunderbird paused at Toyama Station Thunderbird paused at Toyama Station_001 Thunderbird Set at Shin Osaka Station

Thunderbird passing Takatsuki Thunderbird passing Takatsuki Thunderbird heading to Osaka

Thunderbird heading to Osaka Thunderbird to Toyama Thunderbird arriving at Toyama

Thunderbird leaving Toyama

The Thunderbird just happens to be one of my favourite EMUs. It's colour-scheme is a little dated, but the design and practicality (opening end-vestibules) is awesome. Not surprisingly, it also reminds me of the Dutch NS Koploper.