Saturday, January 24, 2015

Old and New Rolling Stocks on the Gotemba Line

EMU JR Central 313-3000 series travels on the Goremba Line

Whenever I visit a local railway, I also try to look for preserved old rolling stock there. For instance, when I visited the Gotemba Line last year, I came across an old steam locomotive (SL), which had been operated on the line. It was unit number 70 of the Type D52 preserved in front of Yamakita Station.

The D52 is a 2-8-2 (Whyte notation) type SL that has a tender attached. A total of 285 units had been built for three years since 1943 to pull 1,200 ton-class freight trains in the closing days of World War II. Overtaking the Type D51, the D52 had the largest driving wheel output among all SLs in Japan. After WWII, the D52 70 was moved to the Gotemba Line to pull the trans-mountain freight and passenger trains. Eventually, it was retired from the track in 1968, because the Gotemba Line was electrified. The distinctive feature of this SL is its large boiler. It was quite impressive for me.

In the meantime, the latest rolling stock on the Gotemba Line is the EMU 313-3000 series launched in 1999. It has four 185kW induction motors with two IGBT-VVVF inverter (variable frequency drive) control systems per unit. The maximum speed is 130km per hour. The track gauge is 1,067mm and the electric system is 1,500V overhead. The 313-3000 series is operated every 30 minutes on average.

Both old and new rolling stocks are seen on the Gotemba Line.

Steam locomotive D52 70 is preserved in front of Yamakita Station on the Gotemba Line