Monday, 11 November 2019

EMU 7500 Series: New Model on the Yurikamome Line

Set 51 of the EMU 7500 series travels on the Yurikamome line

I recently visited the Tokyo Bay area for the first time in a year. What was new with this futuristic region in Tokyo?

I found that Yurikamome Company (the former name was Tokyo Rinkai Shin-kotsu Company) introduced a new train model named the EMU 7500 series on November 11th, 2018. Yurikamome is a rubber-tyred AGT (automated guide way transit) line opened in 1995. Connecting Shimbashi and Toyosu, its current operating length is 14.7 kilometers.

The 7500 series is ordinarily operated without a driver the same as its senior models namely EMU 7000, 7200 and 7300 series. There is no independent cockpit on the train, so the passengers, especially rail-fans like me, can enjoy the beautiful bay view ahead. Technical specifications of the 7500 series are the same as those of the previously-existing 7300 series, but a different point from the 7300 series is the frontal design. You can see blue-colored "driver-less operation lights". They are lighted when the train is operated in driver-less operation mode. Regarding the interior, dual information displays and a free Wi-Fi system are equipped on the 7500 series. The company plans to introduce a total of 8 sets, 48 units, by June 2020.

Incidentally, before inauguration of the Yurikamome line, people were concerned that the railway company would struggle with debts, because the construction cost was quite large. So far, their fears were utterly groundless, because the number of passengers has been much higher than anticipated. I saw many foreign passengers use this line for sightseeing in the Tokyo Bay area.

Set 51 of the EMU 7500 series travels on the Yurikamome line

Official information about the EMU Yurikamome 7500 series (in Japanese):

Friday, 8 November 2019

Chrysanthemum Season on the Arakawa Line

Unit 8905 (rose-red color) of the Toei 8900 series travels on the Arakawa line

It is already November. Time really flies. The minimum temperature in Tokyo is around 10 degrees Celsius. Last weekend, I visited the downtown area with my family looking for deep autumn scenes.

We found that a chrysanthemum show was being held at Kogan-ji temple by the local people. Together with cosmos, chrysanthemum is an autumn flower that represents Japan. They were yellow, purple, pink and white colored large flowers... so beautiful. Kogan-ji temple, also called Togenuki-jizo, is a famous tourist spot on the Arakawa line. Especially, elderly people love this place to pray for the cure of their diseases.

To visit Kogan-ji temple, the nearest tram stop is Koshinzuka on the Toei-Arakawa line. Tokyo once had a 181km-long tram network; but most routes were abolished due to heavy traffic jams. The Arakawa line is a precious survivor, as it was constructed as an exclusive track. Connecting Waseda and Minowabashi, its operating length is 12.2km. The track is 1,372mm dual-gauge. The electric system is 600V DC overhead.

The 8900 series is the latest electric car operated by the Transportation Bureau of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (Toei). There are 4 types of body colors. They are orange (unit number 8901 and 8902), blue (8903 and 8904), rose-red (8905 and 8906) and yellow (8907 and 8908). The operator once planned to introduce a total of 16 units; however, it was canceled half way through, since it costed much. Instead, the 7700 series (converted from the 7000 series) has been increasing in numbers.

Chrysanthemum show is held at Kogan-ji temple near Koshinzuka stop on the Arakawa line

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

EMU Seibu 001 Series: New Flag Ship Train

EMU Seibu 001 series, "Laview", travels on the Ikebukuro line

On March 16th this year, Seibu Railway Company launched a new express train, the EMU 001 series, "Laview", on the Ikebukuro line.

What is Laview? It is Seibu's coined word combining Luxury, Arrow and View. "Luxury" means a space that is like a living room. "Arrow" means high speed and "View" means large passenger windows of this new train. Seibu first launched an express train, the EMU 5000 series, "Red Arrow", in 1969 in time with the opening of the Chichibu line. The 5000 series was then replaced by the EMU 10000 series, "New Red Arrow", in 1993. 26 years later, Seibu eventually introduced the long-awaited new flagship train, "Laview".

Laview is an 8 car train consisting of 4 motor cars and 4 trailers (4M4T). The bodies are made of aluminum alloy. It was designed by a female architect, Sejima Kazuyo. The greatest features of the outer design are its rounded faces and large side windows. They are totally different from those of Red Arrow and New Red Arrow. The body color of Laview is metallic silver, which integrates into the scenery along the Seibu lines. The interior is based around the color yellow, and is also very beautiful. Regarding the technical specifications, the state of art VVVF (variable frequency drive) electric control system with full SiC-MOSFET elements was adopted. A total of 7 sets will be built by Hitachi by the end of March next year.

The Seibu express train is going to a new stage.

Side view of the EMU Seibu 001 series, "Laview"

Official information about the EMU Seibu 001 series, "Laview":
Official promotion movie, the EMU Seibu 001 series, "Laview":
Official information about the EMU Seibu 001 series, "Laview" (in Japanese):