Thursday, 1 October 2015

The 8900 Series: New Model on the Toei Arakawa Line

Electric car, Toei 8900 series stands at Asukayama Stop on the Arakawa Line

On September 18, the Transportation Bureau of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (Toei) launched a new model of their electric car, the 8900 series, on the Arakawa Line. This is the first introduction of a new model in seven years.

The rectilinear-designed body painted with orange and white colors is very vivid for people living along the line. Energy saving LED lights light up the interior. The electric control system, the VVVF inverter (variable frequency drive), is also energy saving. Two units, namely car numbers 8901 and 8902, have been built by Aluna Sharyo. The operator plans to launch the other six sets by 2017. Their body colors will be blue, rose-red and yellow.

I easily shot this new model at Asukayama Stop last weekend, since the operator published the timetable of the 8900 series on their website. It was sunset and getting dark, but the new electric car stood out backed by the evening gloom. The LED interior lights were brighter than I thought.

For your information, the Arakawa Line is a precious survivor of the tram route in Tokyo. It had been operated as two routes, Routes 27 and 32, which were merged into one route, the Arakawa Line, in 1974. Connecting Waseda and Miniowabashi, its route length is 12.2 km. The track is 1,372 mm-size gauge and double. The electric system is 600 V DC overhead.

The 8900 series will soon be the symbol of the Toei-Arakawa Line.

The oldest model, 7000 series (left) and the newest model, 8900 series (right)