Saturday, 1 September 2012

Blue Line, Main Transportation Artery in the Port City

EMU Yokohama Municipal Subway 3000R series stands at Mitsuzawa-Shimocho Station

Yokohama is situated some 20km southwest of Tokyo, and is the second largest city in Japan. It has been developed as Tokyo's outport since the 19th century. Currently, it has an estimated population of 3.7 million.

The railway network in Yokohama is extensive. The major operators are JR East, Keikyu, Sotetsu, Tokyu... and one more, Yokohama Municipal Subway. They are part of a huge commuter railway network in the Tokyo metropolitan area.

The first route of Yokohama Municipal Subway was opened in 1972 between Kami-Ooka and Isesaki-Chojamachi (5.2 km). Since then it has been extending its network. Currently, it has two routes (the Blue Line and the Green Line) for a total of 53.4km.

The Blue Line is the main transportation artery in Yokohama. Because of its line alignment, it has a total of 12 transfer stations to other railways making it very convenient. The track gauge is 1435mm and the electric collecting system is the third rail without pantograph, which is same as the subway Ginza and Marunouchi lines in Tokyo.

The EMU 3000 series is a main fleet of the Blue Line. It was launched in 1992. Since then, it has been repeatedly improved. Currently, there are 4 groups, which are 3000A, 3000N, 3000R and 3000S.

I sometimes take the Blue Line for a walk in Yokohama City. Whenever I ride the train, I am surprised that this subway has been changing rapidly. For example, the ATO (Automatic Train Operation) system with automatic platform gates was introduced recently.

The Blue Line is evolving.

EMU Yokohama Municipal Subway 3000S series arrives at Center-Kita Station on the Blue Line

More information about Transportation Bureau, City of Yokohama:
More information about trains on the Yokohama Municipal Subway Lines (in Japanese):