Tuesday, 2 December 2014

White Train on the Seibu Tamagawa Line

EMU Seibu New 101 series arrives at Musashi-Sakai Terminal on the Seibu Tamagawa Line
It is commonly confused by foreigners, but there are two Tamagawa lines in Tokyo. One is the Tokyu Tamagawa Line and the other is Seibu Tamagawa Line. I am going to introduce the Seibu Tamagawa Line today.

The Seibu Tamagawa Line is a short local route in the western part of Tokyo. Connecting Musashi-Sakai on the JR East Chuo Line and Koremasa near Tama River, the operating length is only 8 km. The track is a 1,067mm-size single and electrified. The electric system is 1,500 V DC overhead, and 4-car trains are operated every 12 minutes.

This route was opened in 1917 to transport gravel from the Tama riverbed to large cities for construction. It is similar with the history of the JR East Nambu Line. The route was, then, changed to a commuter line in 1967.

The rolling stock of the Tamagawa Line is the EMU new 101 series, which was launched in 1979. A total of 4 sets, 16 units, have been operated on the Tamagawa Line since 2010. Different from the other Seibu trains, the body color of the new 101 series on the Tamagawa Line is white. Its specification is rather old as DC motors with a rheostatic control system are still used.

Since the Tamagawa Line is isolated from the other Seibu Railway network, all trains are transported from Musashi-Sakai Terminal to Musashigaoka Rail Yard via JR lines for inspections. We can see a connecting track between Seibu and JR East lines at Musashi-Sakai Terminal for that purpose.

EMU Seibu New 101 series leaves Shiraitodai Station on the Seibu Tamagawa Line