Friday, 22 September 2017

Green Frog: The 90th Anniversary of the Toyoko Line

Set 5122 of the EMU Tokyu 5000 series, the revival colored train, "Green Frog"

The Tokyu-Toyoko Line is one of the main transportation arteries in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Connecting Shibuya and Yokohama, the operating length is 24.2 km. It carries an average of 1.2 million passengers per day. Shibuya is one of the sub-centers in the Tokyo Metropolis; meanwhile, Yokohama is the main city of Kanagawa Prefecture.

On August 28th this year, Tokyu Corporation celebrated the 90th anniversary of the Toyoko Line. It was opened between Shibuya and Maruko-Tamagawa (present Tamagawa) stations on August 28th, 1926. The gauge size is 1,067 mm and the electric system is 1,500 V DC overhead. Currently, 22 percent of the entire route is a double-double track. The trains on the Toyoko Line are directly operated onto the Tokyo Metro-Fukutoshin Line via Shibuya Station, and the Yokohama Minatomirai Railway via Yokohama Station.

In commemoration of the 90th anniversary, Tokyu launched a special revival colored poster train, "Aogaeru", on September 4th on the Toyoko Line. What is Aogaeru? It was a nickname of the green colored trains, the EMU 5000 series, which were operated on the Toyoko Line from 1954 to 1980. Because of its "face line" with lower parts of the face full-fleshed, they were called Aogaeru (green frog) among rail-fans.

The revival Aogaeru is also named the EMU 5000 series, but it is the 2nd generation one with a modern design. An 8-car train, set number 5122 is used as Aogaeru. The revival Aogaeru will be operated for a year until August, 2018.

Side view of the "Green Frog"

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

2017 Summer Memories: Ocean View and Kurofune Train

Set R-4 of the EMU Izukyu 2100 series, Kurofune Train, travels on the Izukyu Line

The weather has been unusual this summer in the Tokyo metropolitan area. It was very hot in the "rainy season"; meanwhile it was rainy every day in mid-summer. I was very busy at work, but could manage to take a 4-day holiday in the middle of August. I visited Izu Peninsula with my family.

Izu Peninsula is a major resort area in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Being located in the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, Izu is famous for the joys of its ocean view and mountains with hot springs. To get to this resort area, Izukyu Railway is convenient. Connecting Ito and Izukyu-Shimoda, the total operating length is 45.7 kilometers. The entire route is an electrified single track. The trains on the Izukyu Line are directly operated onto the JR East Ito Line to Atami and the Tokaido Main Line to Tokyo.

Kurofune Train is one of the popular trains on the Izukyu Line. It is an 8-car train, set R-4 of the EMU 2100 series built by Tokyu Sharyo in 1990. Kurofune Train was created based on the image of Kurofune, which abruptly visited Japan led by US Commodore Perry in 1853 to demand the Tokugawa Shogunate open the country to the world. Seeing that, the Japanese called them "Kurofune" (black ships). Accepting Perry's request, the Tokugawa Shogunate signed a treaty opening Shimoda Port to U.S. trade in 1854. As you noticed, Shimoda is the terminal of the Izukyu Line.

The black colored Kurofune Train suits the magnificent Pacific Ocean.

Ocean view near Izu-kogen Station on the Izukyu Line

Official information about the trains on the Izukyu Line (in Japanese):

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Good-bye, the EMU Toei 10-000 Series: Part 2

Set 10-270 of the EMU Toei 10-000 series arrives at Sasazuka Station on the Keio Line

Following my last post, I am going to continue to show you the EMU Toei 10-000 series, which will be retired soon.

Set 270 of the EMU Toei (the Transportation Bureau of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government) 10-000 series belongs to the 8th batch group of the 10-000 series. Its technical specification is the same as the other 10-000 series trains, but the design of the train bodies is different from that of the other ones. For instance, the 8th batch group has beads on the side of the stainless steel bodies; while the other 10-000 series has corrugations. The 8th batch group has a blue colored thin stripe on the front; while the other 10-000 series trains don't have it. Trainspotters like me perceive and enjoy these kinds of fine differences between the two groups of trains. You may be one of those people.

The 8th batch trains, including set 270, were launched in 1997. A total of 2 sets, 16 units have been built by Alna Kohki. This group of trains is known as the last model built with an armature chopper electric control system in Japan. As you may know, the armature chopper is an excellent electric control system, but it was high cost, and sometimes caused inductive interference, so that the trains with the armature chopper electric control system have been retired gradually.

Sayonara (good-bye) and arigato (thank you), the Toei 10-000 series, Japan's last model built with an armature chopper control system.

Set 10-270 of the EMU Toei 10-000 series stands at Sasazuka Station on the Keio Line