Monday, January 7, 2013

EMU Sotetsu 7000 Series, Afterglow of the 1970’s


EMU Sotetsu 7000 series approaches Futamatagawa Station

I received an email from one of my blog readers, in which he wished to know more about commuter trains in the Tokyo metropolitan area. I couldn't help but agree with his remarks, as I haven't mentioned the commuter trains lately.

So, I am going to show you the EMU Sotetsu 7000 series as a lead-off train. As you know, Sotetsu is one of major private railway companies in the Tokyo metropolitan area (see my blog on July 8th, 2012). Starting from Yokohama, the main city in Kanagawa Prefecture, Sotetsu connects Ebina and Shonandai. There are 25 stations over a total operating length of 35.9km. The 7000 series is the longest-serving active EMU on the Sotetsu Line. It was launched in 1975. A total of 80 units have been manufactured.

I absolutely love this train, because the 7000 series has an afterglow of the 1970's. It was an epoch of great change for railway companies in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Following the rapid urbanization and growth of population, they were struggling to solve a serious shortage of transport. In this hostile environment, a stout and trouble-free train was necessary. The design of the 7000 series subsequently became rough with angular bodies, simple rounded front lights, and bare jumper cables in the front (see the following picture). From the present viewpoint, its equipment is also rather old, such as DC motors, bare disc brakes, and a resistance control system.

But, everything fills me with nostalgia now. I guess I'm getting old.
  
EMU Sotetsu 7000 series temporarily preserved at Atsugi Shunting Yard