Saturday, 26 May 2018

Railway High Schools in Tokyo

Entrance of Showa Tetsudo (Railway) High School

There are two railway high schools in Tokyo. One is Iwakura High School, and the other is Showa Tetsudo High School. Today, I am going to show you the latter school.

Showa Tetsudo High School (Showa Railway High School) was established in 1928 to foster human resources for the railway industry. It is the only high school with "railway" in its name in Japan. So far, more than 17,000 people graduated from this school, and many of them got jobs in railway companies.

The campus is located near Kita-Ikebukuro station on the Tobu-Tojo line. Its entrance is quite unique, as it looks like a stainless-steel electric car. According to the school website, they have many railway-related facilities in the campus such as a driving simulator of the EMU JR East 205 series, relay interlocking devices, an automatic door of the EMU ex-JNR 101 series and so on.

They also have real rolling stock in their campus. For instance, I found an electric car, Unit 685, of the EMU Eidan (present Tokyo Metro) 500 series across the school fence. This precious electric car was built in 1961 by Kinki Sharyo. After travelling about 3 million kilometers on the subway Marunouchi line, Unit 685 was retired from the track in 1992. Currently, Unit 685 spends its second life in this school as a precious study material. 

I think that the pupils of Showa Tetsudo High School are happy, as they are surrounded by good railway facilities. Good luck!

Unit 685 of the EMU Eidan (present Tokyo Metro) 500 series

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

EMU 7500 Series: Main Force on the Hokuso Line

EMU Hokuso 7500 series arrives at Higashi-Matsudo station

I assumed that I had already introduced all of the railways in the Tokyo metropolitan area in this blog; but, there are still some left. Today, I am going to show you one of those railways.

Hokuso is a local railway company in Chiba Prefecture. It was established in 1972 for the carriage of the Chiba Newtown residents. The route of Hokuso Railway extends to the western part of Chiba Prefecture including Chiba Newtown. Connecting Keisei-Takasago and Imba-Nihonidai stations, its route length is 32.1 km. The track is double and electrified. The gauge size is 1,435 mm. The electric system is 1,500 V overhead. Hokuso trains are directly operated onto the Keisei, Toei-Asakusa and Keikyu lines.

The EMU 7500 series is a main force of the Hokuso Railway. It was launched in 2006 to replace the old model, named the 7000 series. A total of 3 sets, 24 units, were built by Nippon Sharyo and Tokyu Sharyo. As you can see, the 7500 series is a sister train of the Keisei 3000 series. The major difference between the 7500 and the 3000 series is the color of the stripes. The Hokuso 7500 series has blue and light-blue colored stripes; while the Keisei 3000 series has dark-pink and blue-colored stripes on their stainless-steel bodies.

I prefer the Hokuso 7500 series to the Keisei 3000 series, since the color design of the 7500 series is more sophisticated than that of the 3000 series.

Unit 7501 of the EMU Hokuso 7500 series

Official information about the trains on the Hokuso line

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Peony Garden on the Tobu Line

EMU Tobu 20000 series arrives at Nishiarai station on the Tobu line

After admiring beautiful wisteria trellis at Nishiarai-daishi temple, we moved to the peony garden in the same temple. Peony flowers of Nishiarai-daishi temple are more reputable than those of the wisteria trellis. We again enjoyed beautiful flowers there. Specifically, my favorite ones were large pure-white colored peony flowers. The language of peony flowers is bashfulness or compassion; however, I think that it should be noble.

On the way to Nishiarai-daishi temple, I also enjoyed the trains on the Tobu line. The EMU 20000 series is one of my favorite ones. This model was launched in 1988. A total of 24 sets, 192 units, were built by Tokyu Sharyo and Alna Sharyo. The 20000 series is commissioned for direct operation between the Tobu and the Tokyo Metro Hibiya lines.

The Tobu 20000 series will be soon replaced by a new model named the EMU 70000 series. This changing of rolling stock was caused by the construction plan of automatic platform gates on the Tobu and Hibiya lines. For installation of automatic platform gates, all the trains on both routes should have the same size and the same number of doors. The 20000 series has 18 m-long bodies with 6 or 10 doors per car; while the new 70000 series has 20 m-long bodies with 8 doors per car, which is the same size and number of doors as that of the other trains on the Tobu lines.

Please ride on the 20000 series and take pictures before it is too late.

Peony garden near Daishimae station on the Tobu line