Saturday, September 24, 2016

Centram: Convenient Transit in the Local City

Electric car Toyama Chiho Railway De9000 series leaves Toyama Station on the Route 3

Toyama is the main city of Toyama Prefecture, about 390 km northwest of Tokyo. This local city is facing the Sea of Japan, and had poor access from Tokyo, which is located on the side of the Pacific Ocean.

The situation totally changed in 2015, when the Hokuriku Shinkansen was opened. Now, it takes only 2 hours and 10 minutes from Tokyo by super-express train, Kagayaki (brilliance) with a maximum speed of 260 km per hour. Needless to say, tourists are flocking to this beautiful city and its suburban area for sightseeing. I was also one of them this summer.

Centram is a must-ride streetcar in Toyama City for rail-fans. Its formal name is the electric car, Toyama Chiho Railway De9000 series. This modern vehicle was launched in 2009, when the Circle Line was opened. It is included in the category of low floor type LRV (light rail vehicle). So far, a total of three units have been built by Niigata Transys.

Different from the other cities in Japan, Toyama creates a tram network as a main urban public transportation system. As you may know, tram routes in Japan were abolished one after another due to heavy traffic jams. They just stay in people's minds in many large cities such as Yokohama, Nagoya and Sendai; however, the merit of tram systems is now being recognized once again, mainly in local cities, from the point of view of environmental protection and barrier-free.

Centram... it is a convenient transit system in the local city.

Electric car Toyama Chiho Railway De9000 series travels on the Route 3

Official information about the tram in Toyama City:
Official information about the rolling stock of Toyama Chiho Railway (in Japanese):