Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Train in Yokohama: The Sotetsu 8000 Series

EMU Sotetsu 8000 series arrives at Seya Station
Yokohama is located some 20km southwest of Tokyo, and is the second largest city in Japan. It has been developed as Tokyo's outport since the 19th century. Currently, it has an estimated population of 3.7 million. The railway network in Yokohama is extensive. It is part of the huge commuter railway network in the Tokyo metropolitan area. I am going to show you the trains in Yokohama bit by bit.

Sagami Railway (Sotetsu) is one of the major private railway companies. It has a Yokohama-based railway line network. The total route length is only 38.1km; however, Sotetsu functions as the main transportation artery in the Yokohama area. It is an electrified double track, and its dual gauge is 1,067mm. The electric system is 1,500V DC overhead.

Sotetsu has 6 kinds of EMUs. The 8000 series is the third oldest series of trains on the line. It was commissioned in 1990 to replace old EMUs, the 6000 series. A total of 13 sets, 130 units, have been manufactured so far by Hitachi.

One of the features of this train is the rectangle cardan driving device that is adopted. This driving system provides passengers with a quiet in-car environment; however, it is said that maintenance of the system is not easy.

As a rail fan, I like the 8000 series because there are cross seats in this train. Although the 8000 series is a commuter train, we can enjoy the atmosphere of the holiday tour sitting in the cross seats. It is a little bit of fun for urban commuters.

EMU Sotetsu 8000 series stands at Nishi-Yokohama Rail Yard