Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lovely “Kamaboko” Train in London

C77 Stock No.5723 on Hammersmith & City Line near Paddington Station, London, UK
As you are aware, London has the oldest subway system in the world. The construction was initiated in the middle of the 19th century, and its public service began on 10th January 1863. It was still the “samurai” era in Japan.

The size of the train is smaller than that of Tokyo, because the tunnel is low. Overhead lines with pantographs are not used, but the third-rail system is adopted for electric power collection. Subsequently, the shape of the train is similar to the “kamaboko”, a Japanese fish sausage, which has a hog-backed shape.

The top photo is EMU C77 stock on Hammersmith & City Line near Paddington Station, where we can see the train above ground. This train was manufactured in 1978 by Metro-Cammell, in Birmingham. It’s composed of six short length (about 15 – 16m) cars (3M3T). The electric system is 630V DC. Each car has 4 seats against the sidewalls between each door. This interior design is almost same as that of Tokyo.

I tried to take the underground in rush hour from London Bridge Station, on the Jubilee Line. Like Tokyo, there was a long queue on the platform. However, the passengers didn’t push onto the train, if the cars are full; they just wait for the next train. This commuting condition is much better than that of Tokyo. It would be envied by Tokyoites.

London underground … it’s a lovely "kamaboko" train for me.
Train queue at London Bridge Station, the Jubilee Line, London, UK