Sunday, 31 May 2015

The 600 Series: Classic Streetcar in Kagoshima City

Electric car, Kagoshima City Transportation Bureau 600 series leaves Tenmonkan-doori Stop

The tram is a symbol of Kagoshima City on Kyushu Island. The Transportation Bureau of Kagoshima City has a total of 13.1 km tram routes in the urban area. Currently, seven models of electric cars are operated on the track.

Among the variety of rolling stocks, the 600 series is my favorite. It is an old streetcar launched in 1958. A total of 16 units have been manufactured by Hitachi, Naniwa Koki and Teikoku Sharyo. Ten units are still operated on the track. Each one is 12.5 m long, and carries 96 passengers. The gauge size is 1,435mm and the electric system is 600V DC overhead.

I like the three frontal windows on the 600 series. These windows offer high visibility to drivers. The large single rounded frontal light on the top of the face is lovely. The side view is also to my taste, as it is like a bus. The coloring design of the bodies is a bit dowdy, but it is nostalgic and unique now.

The specification of the 600 series is rather old. For instance, the nose-suspension drive system is still used. It is out of date, but the running sound with 37.5kW DC motors is nostalgic and comfortable for a rail fan like me. Direct electric control and straight air brake systems are also very old, but this model rides smoothly as air spring bogies are equipped.

The 600 series... it is definitely my cup of tea.

Electric cars, Kagoshima City Transportation Bureau 7000 series (left) and 600 series (right)
More information about the 600 series of Kagoshima City Transportation Bureau (in Japanese):