All About Japan

The Ultimate Farewell Speech to a Train

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On December 6, 2015, the final 205-0 series train set to be put into operation in Jakarta, Indonesia pulled into Musashi-Nakahara Station on the JR Nambu Line for the last time.

In April 2015, JR East announced that it would be transferring 120 205-series train cars from the JR Nambu Line, which connects Tokyo and Kawasaki, to Jakarta’s KA Commuter Jabodetabek commuter rail system. While the last of these trains being sent to Indonesia was retired from Japanese service on December 6, a single 205-series train remained in service on the Nambu Line until January 9, 2016.

Jakarta has been actively acquiring used Japanese trains since the year 2000, when the Toei Mita Line donated a train that was being decommissioned to the Indonesian capital. The KA Commuter Jabodetabek has since purchased approximately 500 used 205-series train cars (a figure that includes this latest shipment) from Japanese railway companies to fill a growing urban need. In fact, the majority of the current rolling stock in Indonesia’s metropolitan capital area originally saw service in Japan—with one such train pictured in the image below. In addition to supplying the trains themselves, JR East has also provided the country with engineering maintenance, operational support, and management advice as special services.

Regarding the final trip of the last 205-series Nambu Line train set to be transferred overseas, the conductor on board made a special announcement as the train approached its terminal location of the day at Musashi-Nakahara Station. Passengers on the train at the time reported feeling incredibly moved by his words.

Here’s what the train conductor had to say on that final run:

“This train that you are currently riding will retire as of today from service on the JR Nambu Line. It will continue active service from here on in Jakarta, Indonesia. We will arrive at the Musashi-Nakahara Station terminus in a few moments. Please make sure that you take all of your belongings with you as you exit the train. We sincerely hope that you take all of your happy memories of being on this train home with you for safekeeping as well.”

After Twitter comments about his announcement blew up in popularity, JR East released a statement of its own:

“It’s true that one of our conductors made a speech like this on December 6, the last day of service for the train in question. His words were not just to thank the final train, however. He wanted to express his thanks to all of the passengers that have used the 205-series trains over the years. We are very grateful to have received such a warm response to his message.”

It’s unknown whether news of the conductor’s announcement has made it to Jakarta, but the city received this final train with its interior decorated with pictures of the 205-series as colored by Japanese kindergarteners and pre-schoolers. What a warm send-off to a new era of service in a new country!

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