OSAKA -- Japan Railways (JR)'s classic orange-colored "103 series" train made its last trip on the Osaka Loop Line here on Oct. 3 -- attracting a multitude of fans who came to bid the train farewell.
The iconic train made its debut in 1969, but dilapidation has meant that the "103" trains have gradually been replaced by more modern-looking "323" trains from December 2016 onward.
The last "103" train made its final journey -- with numerous fans on board -- in the morning on Oct. 3 and completed its trip at JR Kyobashi Station that straddles Osaka's Joto and Miyakojima wards at around 11:20 a.m., after which it switched its sign to "out of service." Notably, the train's last trip was chosen to take place on a suitable day, namely Oct. 3 (10/3).
In total, approximately 3,500 "103 series" cars were manufactured, and its distinctive classic design evokes the era before the Japanese National Railways was split into regional JR companies.
In east Japan, the "103" trains have completely disappeared and now the orange "103" trains on the Osaka Loop Line have faded away too. Nevertheless, there are some "103" trains still in operation, such as the lime green version on the Nara Line.
As the orange-colored Osaka train made its final journey, it went past a group of preschool children in the city's Tennoji Ward who said "thank you" and waved flags as the train went by.
A 23-year-old company employee from Sodegaura, Chiba Prefecture, who visited Osaka on Oct. 3, said, "The orange train stands out, and it actually looks fresh despite its age. It's a shame that I won't be able to see it again."