Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Retro Colored Streetcars on the Arakawa Line

Unit number 7022 of the electric car, Toei 7000 series stands at Oji-ekimae Stop
The Tokyo metropolitan area once had an extensive tram network. It was operated by several companies and local governments, such as Tokyu Electric Railway, Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Yokohama and Kawasaki city offices. Today, most routes have already been abolished due to heavy traffic jams; however, the Toei (Tokyo Metropolitan Government) Arakawa Line is one of the few precious survivors, since it was constructed as an exclusive track.

The Arakawa Line had been operated as two tram routes, namely Route 27 and 32. They were integrated into one route, the Arakawa Line, in 1974. Connecting Waseda and Minowabashi, its operating length is 12.2km. The track is 1,372mm dual-gauge. The electric system is 600V DC overhead.

The electric railcar 7000 series is the oldest active model on the Arakawa Line. It was launched in 1954 to reinforce the tram fleet. A total of 93 units have been manufactured so far by Alna Sharyo and 19 units are still operated on the track. Although the bodies, pantographs and some other equipment have been changed, the electric motors, driving gear units and bogies are still the originals.

Among the 19 survivors, unit numbers 7001 and 7022 have been given "retro colored" bodies recently. The 7001 has a yellow body with a red stripe, whereas the 7022 has the same colored body with a blue stripe. These designs were taken from the body colors sometime around the 1970s. They are very popular with old rail fans.

Unit number 7001 of the electric car, Toei 7000 series stands at Arakawa Depot
More information about the streetcars on the Toei-Arakawa Line (in Japanese):