Saturday, 1 March 2014

EMU Seibu 8500 Series: Leo Liner

Set number V2 of the EMU Seibu 8500 series arrives at Seibu-kyujo-mae Station
Seibu Yamaguchi Line is a rubber-tyred automated guideway transit (AGT) system straddling the border between Tokyo Metropolis and Saitama Prefecture, north of Tokyo. The line length is only 2.8km between Seibu-yuenchi-mae (Seibu Amusement Park) and Seibu-kyujo-mae (Seibu Baseball Stadium) stations.

The Yamaguchi Line was completed in 1985 as the fifth oldest AGT route in Japan. The route was constructed along the outer road of Seibu-en Golf Course. Unlike the new AGT routes, such as the Yurikamome Line, Kanazawa Seaside Line and Nippori-Toneri Liner, a driver operates each train on the Yamaguchi Line. It is not a driver-less operation. The entire route is an electrified single track with one signal station for a passing loop. The electric system is 750V DC using a "third rail" without catenaries.

The lovely EMU, the 8500 series is the only group of trains operated on the Yamaguchi Line. It was launched in 1985, when the route was opened. One train is composed of four 8m long cars. A total of 3 sets have been manufactured so far by Niigata Tekko. VVVF inverter (variable frequency drive) control system with induction motors is equipped for this train. The maximum operating speed is 50km/hour.

In the meantime, a nickname of the 8500 series is "Leo Liner". It is taken from the mascot of Seibu owned professional baseball team, "Saitama Seibu Lions". You can see Leo, a white lion, on the front of the 8500 series. It is very popular among local baseball boys and girls.

Set number V2 of the EMU Seibu 8500 series runs on the Yamaguchi Line
More information about the EMU Seibu 8500 series (in Japanese):