Thursday, 7 November 2013

The 100th Anniversary of the Keio Line

EMU Keio 8000 series stands at Fuchu Station
The Keio Line is one of the main transportation arteries in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Connecting Shinjuku and the western suburban cities, such as Hachioji and Sagamihara, the total operating length is 72km. It carries an average of 1.25 million passengers per day.

On April 13th this year, Keio Electric Railway Company celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Keio Line. It was opened between Sasazuka and Chofu stations on April 13th in 1913. The track gauge is quite unique... 1,372mm, since the Keio Line was initially constructed as a tram line. For your information, 1,372mm special track gauge has been adopted several lines in Tokyo, such as the Toei (Tokyo Metropolitan Government) Arakawa and the Tokyu Setagaya lines.

As I mentioned before, my grandfather, who passed away in 1999, was a railway engineer of Keio Electric Railway. He introduced many trains during his assignment. The classic electric car, type 500, which debuted in 1931, is still seen in his photo album. I think he is also celebrating the centennial anniversary of the Keio Line on the other side.

Today, three types of trains are operated on the Keio Line. They are the EMU 7000, 8000 and 9000 series. My favorite one is the stylish 8000 series. It was launched in 1992 as the first EMU to adopt the VVVF (variable frequency drive) control system on the Keio Line. A total of 245 units have been manufactured so far.

The Keio trains are heading for their next century.

Evening rush hour in Shinjuku Terminal on the Keio Line