Tuesday, 26 August 2014

The 100th Anniversary of Railways in the Chichibu Area

EMU Chichibu 5000 (ex-Toei 6000) series with the 100th anniversary sticker on the front
Chichibu is an intermontane basin located in the northern part of Saitama Prefecture, some 70 km northwest of Tokyo. This area has been known as a center of industries, such as a mining, since the 8th century. For instance, natural copper was discovered in 708 in this area, which was sent to the Emperor as a tribute.

Although Chichibu had been an advanced industrial area, construction of the railway was a bit late because of its mountainous topography. The first railway route, the Jobu Railway (present Chichibu Railway), was extended into Chichibu City in 1914, 100 years ago. Seibu Railway Company, then, also extended their line into this city.

In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of railway operation in the Chichibu area, Chichibu Railway Company have organized many events. For instance, they are planning to operate a special memorial train pulled by a steam locomotive this month.

I also found a special red colored sticker, celebrating the 100th anniversary, on the body of the EMU 5000 series. The 5000 series is the ex-Toei (Tokyo Metropolitan Government) 6000 series. They were transferred to Chichibu Railway in 1999 after their retirement from the Toei-Mita Line. A total of 4 sets, 12 units, of the ex-6000 series are operated on the Chichibu Railway.

Some of the ex-Toei 6000 series have crossed the ocean and are operated in Indonesia. I am going to show their pictures some time in the future.

EMU Chichibu 5000 (ex-Toei 6000) series stands at Kumagaya Station