Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Classic Streetcar on the Manyo Line

Electric Car 7073 of the Manyo-sen De7070 series passes through Shokawa Bridge

Takaoka is a local city in Toyama Prefecture, some 400 km northwest of Tokyo. It takes about two hours and a half from Tokyo by Hokuriku Shinkansen. Along with the adjacent Toyama City, Takaoka also has a city tram route, namely the Manyo Line.

The Manyo Line is divided into two sections. The western half is called Takaoka Tram Line, which was originally operated by Toyama Chihou Railway (Toyama Regional Railway). On the other hand, the eastern half is called the Shinminatokou Line, which was originally operated by Kaetsunou Railway. These two lines were spliced as the Manyo Line in 2002 by a newly established Manyo-sen Company. The direct operation between the two sections started that year. Its total route length is 12.9 km. The track is single (partially double) and electrified. The electric system is 600 V DC overhead. The gauge size is 1,067 mm.

Manyo-sen Company has two kinds of streetcars. One is the classic De7070 series and the other is the state of the art MLRV 1000 series. The De7070 series was launched in 1967 by Kaetsunou Railway. A total of 6 units have been built by Nippon Sharyo. Its technical specifications are rather old, but five units are still operated on the track. I still remember the scene of last summer of the two-toned De7070 series slowly crossing Shokawa River in the setting sun. It was very beautiful against the blue sky and the indigo colored Sea of Japan.

Electric Car 7073 of the Manyo-sen De7070 series travels on the Manyo Line