Friday, 11 November 2016

Aikan: Another Unique Railway in the Nagoya Urban Area

EMU Aikan 2000 series arrives at Homi Station on the Aichi Loop Line

Along with the Johoku Line of Tokai Transport Service Company, the Aichi Loop Line of Aichi Loop Line Company (Aikan) is another unique railway in the Nagoya Urban area.

Aikan Line was opened between Kozoji on the Chuo Main Line and Okazaki on the Tokaido Main Line in 1988. The total route length is 45.3 km. The western half section between Kozoji and Shin-Toyota (25.8 km) is the new construction line, while the eastern half section between Shin-Toyota and Okazaki (19.5km) is the JR Central's ex-Okata Line. The route is a mixture of single and double tracks. It is electrified with the 1,500 V DC overhead systems. The gauge size is 1,067 mm.

Aikan has two faces... one as a local railway in the countryside, and one as an urban commuter line. We can see beautiful paddies and green hills in the western section. On the other hand, there are crowded residential areas in the eastern section. More importantly, Toyota Motor Corporation has their headquarters near Mikawa-Toyota Station on the eastern section of the Aikan Line. Aikan is 4.89% owned by Toyota Motor Corporation.

The EMU 2000 series is the sole model on the Aikan Line. It was launched in 2002 to replace the old model, the 100 series. It is a 2-car train with one motor car. So far, a total of 20 sets, 40 units have been built by Nippon Sharyo. To save the manufacturing cost, its technical specifications are almost the same as JR Central's 313 series.

EMU Aikan 2000 series leaves Homi Station on the Aichi Loop Line

Official photo gallery of Aichi Loop Line Company (in Japanese):