Saturday, 21 March 2015

The Tsurumi Line: Urban Local Route

EMU JR East 205-1100 series arrives at Kokudo Station on the Tsurumi Line

If you want to get a feel for a local line in an urban area, please visit the JR East Tsurumi Line. The route consists of the Main Line (7 km), Umishibaura Branch Line (1.7 km) and the Ookawa Branch Line (1 km), extending to the eastern part of Yokohama and western Kawasaki cities in Kanagawa Prefecture.

The Tsurumi Line was originally opened as a freight line in 1926 by Tsurumi Rinko Railway. The objective of the railway was to transport materials and fuels to and from Keihin Industrial Area. After completion of the electrification in 1930, passenger transportation was also commenced for commuters, who worked for factories on the route. The Tsurumi Line was then merged into Japanese Government Railways in 1943 due to wartime shortage. Currently, the Tsurumi Line belongs to East Japan Railway Company (JR East).

Why can we get a feel for a local line on the Tsurumi Line? One of the reasons is that the trains are very infrequent on that line. For instance, there are only three trains a day leaving Ookawa Station on weekends. The other reason is its short trains, which are composed of only three cars.

The main fleet of the Tsurumi Line is the EMU 205-1100 series. A total of 9 sets, 27 units are operated on the route. They had been operated on the Saikyo Line, and were moved to the Tsurumi Line in 2004. The yellow and light blue colored stripes are distinct accents of these trains.

EMU JR East 205-1100 series leaves Asano Station on the Tsurumi Line