Thursday, 3 October 2013

Toei-Shinjuku Line: 1,372mm Gauge Subway Route

EMU Toei 10-300 series stands at Higashi-Oojima Station on the Toei-Shinjuku Line
Tokyo is the most congested city in Japan. This giant city has been expanding both above and underground. Subway lines are typical of the latter. A total of 13 lines are now operating on 329km of track.

There are two subway operators in Tokyo. One is Tokyo Metro Company, and the other one is Tokyo Metropolitan Government (Toei). Tokyo Metro has nine routes, while Toei has four.

The Toei-Shinjuku Line was opened in 1978 as Tokyo's 10th subway route. Connecting Shinjuku, a subcenter of Tokyo and Motoyawata, an interchange station with the JR East Sobu Line, the total operating length is 23.5km. Most trains are directly operated into the Keio Line, which is a major private railway in Tokyo. So, you can see both Toei and Keio trains on the line.

Shinjuku is the largest railway terminal in the world. Six companies' trains are operated into this giant terminal. A total of 3.24 million incoming and outgoing passengers use this station a day. The other terminal, Motoyawata, is located in Chiba Prefecture. It means that Tokyo Metropolitan Government constructed a subway line outside Tokyo as well.

One of the features of the Toei-Shinjuku Line is that the track gauge is 1,372mm despite most railway track gauges in Japan being 1,067 or 1,435mm. The 1,372mm is quite unique. It is because the pre-existing Keio Line has a 1,372mm gauge.

I would like to talk about the history of the 1,372mm anomalistic gauge in Japan someday in the future.

EMU Keio 9000 series stands at Higashi-Oojima Station on the Toei-Shinjuku Line