Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Toei 7504: Preserved School Tram on the Arakawa Line

Unit number 7504 of the Toei 7500 series is preserved in a museum adjacent to the Arakawa Depot
Along with the PCC Car (unit number 5501 of the Toei 5500 series), unit number 7504 of the Toei 7500 series is the other main exhibition in the small museum adjacent to the Arakawa Depot on the Toei Arakawa Line. As you may know, the Arakawa Line is the precious tramway operated by Transportation Bureau of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (Toei).

The Toei 7500 series streetcar was launched in 1962 to replace the decrepit 8000 series. A total of 20 units have been manufactured by Nippon Sharyo and Niigata Tekko. Its rounded face with two big lights is very attractive and the bow collector installed on the center of the roof is nostalgic.

After belonging to the Aoyama Depot in the city center, the 7504 was moved to Arakawa Depot in 1968. Many other colleagues of the 7500 series were renovated in the 1980s, but the 7504 had been kept in its original style. The final assignment for the 7504 was a special train between Ootsuka and Machiya stops for morning rush hour. It was called "Gakuen-gou (School Tram)" by passengers. In fact, the 7504 had been transported many high school girls on the Arakawa Line.

In 1998, the 7504 was retired from the track. It was missed by many rail fans. Railway engineers of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government tried to preserve it in a dynamic state, but it didn't accord with engineers' hopes.

The Toei 7504, School Tram, is preserved in a static condition under the government's instruction.

Side view of the unit number 7504