Saturday, 23 November 2013

Tama Zoo Train on the Keio Line

7801F of the EMU Keio 7000 series, "Tama Zoo Train" arrives at Takahata-fudo Station
On the way to Keio Rail Land a couple of weeks ago, I saw a special poster train on the Keio Line. Look at the photo. It is set number 7801 (7801F) of the EMU 7000 series, "Tama Zoo Train", arriving at Takahata-fudo Station.

The 7000 series debuted in 1984 to enhance transportation capacity on the Keio Line. A total of 190 units have been manufactured for 12 years by Nippon Sharyo and Tokyu Sharyo. A field chopper control system was adopted originally. It was later changed to the VVVF (variable frequency drive) system with induction motors, as part of a renovation project.

Tama Zoo train (7801F) was manufactured in 1993 by Tokyo Sharyo. It is a 4-car poster train to transport sightseers to Tama Zoo on the Keio-Dobutsuen Line (the Keio-Zoo Line). You can see various animal stickers on the body. They are lions, tigers, koalas, giraffes, monkeys and so on. It is popular among children on the line.

The Keio-zoo line is a feeder route of the Keio Main Line. It was opened in 1960. Connecting Takahata-fudo and Tama-dobutsukoen-mae (Tama Zoological Park) stations, the line length is 2km only.

Tama Zoo train runs without a conductor on board because the Keio-zoo Line normally has fewer passengers than the main line; but, on weekends, 10-car express trains with conductors on board are directly operated into this feeder route from Shinjuku Terminal to transport holidaymakers.

Side view of the Tama Zoo Train