Tuesday, 13 January 2015

EMU 205-500 Series: Enigma of the Gangway

EMU JR East 205-500 series arrives at Shimomizo Station on the Sagami Line

Three years and a half has passed since I have started this blog. In this period, I have received many questions from foreign rail fans. Sorry it has taken me so long to reply in almost all cases, as I am continually busying myself with my affairs, but I will reply to you without fail.

Looking at the recent characteristics, I have received very advanced or detailed questions about Japanese railways. For instance, I received a question about a "gangway" on the front of the EMU JR East 205-500 series last year. The blog reader asked whether "the black colored rectangle" on the left hand side of the front is a gangway or just a decoration. What a detailed question it is! This questioner's sense of curiosity is higher than those of Japanese rail fans!

Well, in answer to the question... the black colored rectangle is just a decoration. It is NOT a gangway. As you know, subway trains have to have a gangway on the front for emergency evacuation in Japan by the ordinance of Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT), but the 205-500 series is NOT a subway train. So, it doesn't need to have a gangway on the front.

For your information, the 205-500 series is operated on the Sagami Line. The Sagami Line is a local route, connecting Chigasaki on the Tokaido Main Line and Hashimoto on the Yokohama and Keio-Sagamihara lines.
EMU JR East 205-500 series with a black colored "gangway" on the front stands at Ebina Station