Saturday, December 20, 2014

Newcomer on the Shonan Monorail Line

Set number 4 of the EMU 5000 series travels on the Shonan Monorail Line
I visited the Shonan Monorail Line two years to the day since 2012. Anything new? Yes, a new train, set number 4 of the EMU 5000 series was launched in February of this year.

First of all, let me explain the Shonan Monorail Line. This route was opened in 1970 as the second suspended type monorail line in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Connecting Ofuna on the JR East Tokaido Line and Shonan-Enoshima stations, the operating length is 6.6 km. The track is single and the electric system is 1,500 V DC. The route passes through industrial and residential quarters in the Kamakura Mountain area. Trains are operated every 7.5 minutes during the daytime.

The EMU 5000 series is the main fleet on the line. It was launched in 2004 to replace the old model, the 400 series. One set of the train is composed of three motor cars. The IGBT-VVVF inverter (variable frequency drive) electric control system is on board and the maximum operating speed is 75km per hour.

A total of four sets, 12 cars have been manufactured so far by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The latest set, namely, set number 4 (car number 5606, 5207 and 5608), has yellow-colored stripes on the stainless body; meanwhile, the other three sets have red, blue or light green-colored stripes on the bodies. The large windows to view the beautiful scenery of Kamakura Mountain are my favorite.

Riding on the 5000 series monorail train... enjoy a short journey to Kamakura.
Set number 4 of the EMU 5000 series stands at Nishi-Kamakura Station
More information about the EMU Shonan Monorail 5000 series (in Japanese):

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Advent of Winter on the Chuo Line

EMU JR East 233 series stands at Ochanomizu Station on the Chuo Line
Autumn has gone and winter is here in the Tokyo Metropolis. The maximum daytime temperature is less than 10 degrees Celsius every day. The leaves on the ginkgo trees have already turned yellow and started defoliating. Once a cold wave comes, it always snows in the areas on the Sea of Japan. In contrast, it is always clear in the regions here on the Pacific Ocean. The high mountain ranges, which run nearly the full length of the country, give the Sea of Japan and the Pacific Ocean sides vastly different climatic patterns in this country.

I am going to introduce two spots this time of year in the city center on the Chuo Line, which is my commuting route.

The top photo shows colored leaves in the Ochanomizu Station area. Many trees are seen in Yushima Seido, which was established as Japan's first national school in the 17th century. The commuter train on the left is the EMU JR East E233 series on the Chuo Rapid Line. You can also see subway tracks of the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line adjacent to the Chuo Rapid Line.

The second photo is a street view in the Moto-Akasaka area near Yotsuya Station. This area is located near the state guest house in the city center. Since it was the weekend, the area was very quiet. There were far fewer cars on the road than on weekdays. I could enjoy viewing the beautiful colored leaves along the street.

Time flies so quickly and the year 2014 is ending soon.

Colored leaves are seen near Yotsuya Station on the Chuo Line

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Newcomer on the Tokyu Tamagawa Line

EMU Tokyu 1000-1500 series arrives at Numabe Station on the Tokyu Tamagawa Line
Following the Seibu Tamagawa Line, I am going to show you the other Tamagawa Line in Tokyo... the Tokyu Tamagawa Line.

The Tokyu Tamagawa Line was opened in 1923 as a part of the Mekama Line. The route was split into two lines, namely the Meguro and the Tamagawa lines, in 2000 for the restructuring of Tokyu's railway network. The current operating length of the Tamagawa Line is only 5.6 km, connecting Kamata and Tamagawa stations. The route is a 1,067 mm-sized double track and the electric system is 1,500 V DC overhead.

Along with the 7000, 7600 and 7700 series, the EMU 1000-1500 series is the main fleet on the Tokyu Tamagawa Line. The 1000-1500 series was originally launched in the early 1990s on the Tokyu Toyoko Line. Some of the units were moved to the Tamagawa Line after modification this year. Currently, 3 sets of 3-car trains are operated on the line.

The 1000-1500 series is my cup of tea, as the coloring of the bodies is my favorite. It is basically the same as the 7000 series, which debuted in 2007 as new-model cars. Two single-armed pantographs equipped on the roof of car number 2 are a good accent. Induction motors with the new IGBT-VVVF inverter electric control system are on board.

The EMU 1000-1500 series... welcome to the Tokyu Tamagawa Line. I wish these trains well for their new lives on the line.

EMU Tokyu 1000-1500 series stands at Kamata Terminal on the Tokyu Tamagawa Line