Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pros and Cons, Design of the Tokyu 6000

EMU Tokyu 6000 series stands at Mizonokuchi Station, the Denentoshi-Oimachi Line

As I mentioned previously, the railway business in Tokyo is very competitive right now. Many companies are fighting for survival. Tokyu, which records sales of 3.5billion US dollars per year, is no exception. They are facing fierce competition from JR East and other railway companies (see my blog on February 14th). In this business circumstance, Tokyu has a clear strategy for survival: restructuring of the railway network. Take for instance, the Oimachi Line.

The Oimachi line used to be a short local line connecting Oimachi and Futako-Tamagawa. All-stations trains were operated slowly; however, the operation totally changed in 2009. All trains began to operate directly on the Tokyu- Denentoshi Line through Futako-Tamagawa, because the double-double track of the Denentoshi Line had been completed. In other words, the Oimachi Line had been extended substantially. The railway network had been reinforced.

Taking the above opportunity, Tokyu launched express trains on the Oimachi Line, using a new model, the EMU 6000 series. The red colored front mask is very unique (see the top photo). There are pros and cons among passengers about this design. Some people say "cool and futuristic", but others say "catchpenny robot".

As a rail-fan, I would like to compliment Tokyu's challenging spirit. Today, standardization is a keyword for many railway companies to reduce their capital expenditures. As a result, many trains have become very similar to each other. They are meat-and-potato vehicles.

I am looking forward to seeing new and unique second and third trains in Tokyo

Side view of EMU Tokyu 6000 series