JR East sells train destination signboards for quake relief

By Tenkaijapan - Last updated: 金曜日, 8月 26, 2011 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

East Japan Railway Co. is selling off vintage train signage popular with collectors to raise money for reconstruction of areas in northeastern Japan hit by the March quake and tsunami.

JR East on Aug. 19 began auctioning 1,248 destination signboards used during the era of former Japanese National Railways, privatized in 1987, which are hot items among railway enthusiasts. The auctions will run through Sept. 15

Many prospective buyers visited JR Tokyo Station on Aug. 19 when the first 312 signboards for auction were displayed.

Fans usually trade such plates, made of metal or plastic, for between several thousand yen to around 10,000 yen, though rarer items can fetch several tens of thousands of yen.

A JR East employee found some 10,000 destination signs of the former national railways at a warehouse of the station in late March while checking emergency supplies after the disaster.

JR East said it has decided to sell clean ones among those found to help with disaster relief.

Most destination signboards on Japanese trains now are digital.

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