Sunday, 4 May 2014

Toei 8500 Series on the Shared Track

Electric car Toei 8500 series runs on the shared track of the Arakawa Line
The Tokyo metropolitan area once had an extensive tram network. It was operated by several companies and local governments, such as Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Tokyu Electric Railway, and 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. Connecting Waseda and Minowabashi, its operating length is 12.2km. The track is 1,372mm dual-gauge. The electric system is 600V DC overhead.

A large part of the Arakawa Line is an exclusive track, but a short section remains as a shared track with a public road. We can see both trams and cars on the street between Ouji and Asukayama stops. Plenty of rail fans flock to this precious picturesque spot at the end of a week.

The electric rail car 8500 series is one of my favorite models on the Arakawa Line. It was launched in 1990 to replace the decrepit old cars. The introduction of the new model was 28 years to the day since the line opened in 1962, but production of the 8500 series was discontinued in 1993, as the Tokyo Metropolitan Government faced a budget shortfall; only 5 units had been manufactured by Alna Koki. The new model, 8800 series then debuted in 2009 in succession to the 8500 series.

I like the 8500 series, since the design is simple and stylish. Passengers will never grow tired of the design.

Electric car Toei 8500 series arrives at Ouji stop on the Arakawa Line
More information about the Toei Arakawa Line (movies):