Saturday, 4 July 2015

The Nambu Branch Line: Urban Local Route, Part 3

EMU JR East 205-1000 series travels on the Nambu Branch Line
Following the Tsurumi Line and the Daishi Line, let me explain about the other urban local route in the Tokyo metropolitan area... the JR East Nambu Branch Line in Kawasaki City, some 20 km southwest of Tokyo.

The Nambu Branch Line was inaugurated in 1930 by Nambu Railway Company. Its highlighted mission was freight transportation, but the passenger trains also started operation in the same year. Currently, it is operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East). Connecting Shitte on the Nambu Main Line and Hamakawasaki, there are only four stations over the 4.0-km single track route. The track gauge is 1,067 mm and the electric system is 1,500 V DC overhead.

A two-car train, the EMU 205-1000 series, is operated every 40 minutes on average during the daytime, and every 15 minutes during rush hour. All trains are run with a driver and no conductors. Passengers are mostly commuters and high school students. The 205-1000 series was moved from the Yamanote and the Chuo-Sobu Local lines in 2002 after modifications. The yellow and green-colored double stripe on the bodies is a good mark as the Nambu Branch Line train.

When I visited the Nambu Branch Line on a weekend last month, I saw that several families with cameras were on board. They must be rail-fan families. In fact, visiting this route is a good opportunity to get a feel for a local railway line, even in an urban area. Let's take it easy at the weekends on the Nambu Branch Line.

EMU JR East 205-1000 series arrives at Kawasaki-shinmachi Station on the Nambu Branch Line