Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Unique Spot on the Yamanote Line

A railway crossing between Komagome and Tabata stations on the Yamanote Line

The JR East Yamanote Line is well known as Japan's busiest railway. Eleven-car trains, namely EMU E231-500 and E235 series, are operated every 2 minutes 30 seconds in the morning, every 4 minutes during the daytime and every 3 minutes in the evening of weekdays. Even on Sunday and national holidays, the trains are operated every 3 minutes 20 seconds on average.

The route length of the Yamanote Line is 34 km. It is looped through several downtown areas of Tokyo, such as Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ikebukuro and Shinagawa. The track is double and its gauge size is 1,067 mm. The electric system is 1,500 V DC overhead. Each train runs in the same direction throughout the day; clockwise or counterclockwise. The train covers the entire route in about 60 minutes. There are 29 stations and most of them are interchange stations to the subway, private railways and/or other JR lines. 

The track of the Yamanote Line is generally elevated or three-dimensionally crossed with the other railways or roads; however, there is a railway crossing between Komagome and Tabata stations. Please look at the picture. It looks to be a railway crossing like any other, but actually, it is the only railway crossing on the Yamanote Line. I visited this unique spot last weekend, and took pictures. Different from the other sections on the line, it is a residential neighborhood, a rare sight. I never dreamed of there being such a quiet area on the busy Yamanote Line.

EMU JR East E231-500 series passes through a railway crossing on the Yamanote Line