Monday, January 4, 2016

Regeneration of Abandoned Track

Ex-Takashimayama railway tunnel is preserved as a part of Toyoko Flower Greenway
 
Twelve years have passed since the Tokyu-Toyoko Line was taken underground at Yokohama Station and in neighboring areas. In February, 2004, the underground track was completed between Yokohama and Higashi-Hakuraku station (1.4 km). At the same time, Toyoko trains started direct operation into the newly inaugurated Yokohama Minatomirai Railway.

What did the abandoned surface track turn into later? I visited Higashi-Hakuraku to see what happened.

The outcome is the old railway track of the Toyoko Line has been regenerated to a pavement, named Toyoko Flower Ryokudo (Toyoko Flower Greenway). Local people use it as a walking course as well as a community road. One of the places of interest on the greenway is ex-Takashimayama Tunnel. This 172 m-long ex-railway tunnel is preserved as a part of the greenway. For safety reasons, it is closed from 9 pm to 6 am in the evening.

By the way, where is the present track of the Toyoko Line? It is just below Toyoko Flower Greenway. It means that Takashimayama Tunnel is two-storied now. The new railway tunnel is located under the greenway tunnel. The entrance of the new tunnel is located about 1 km north of the old tunnel. You can see the trains entering and coming out of the new tunnel continuously. They are the EMU Tokyu 5000 and 5050 series, Yokohama Minatomirai, Tokyo Metro, Tobu and Seibu cars... a great variety of trains.

Toyoko Flower Greenway and the underground Toyoko Line... they are must see spots for rail fans.
 
EMU Tokyu 5050 series comes out of the new tunnel near Higashi-Hakuraku Station

Official map of Toyoko Flower Greenway (in Japanese): http://www.city.yokohama.lg.jp/kanagawa/kusei/town/toyoko/ryokudomap.pdf