Saturday, 7 October 2017

Hamamatsu: Rapidly Growing Industrial City

EMU Entetsu 1000 series arrives at Daiichidori Station

Hamamatsu is a major city in Shizuoka Prefecture, located about 260 km west of Tokyo. Currently, it has a population of 0.8 million, which is ranked at sixteenth in Japanese cities. In 1990, the population of Hamamatsu City exceeded that of Shizuoka City, which is the capital of Shizuoka Prefecture, to become the top in the prefecture.

Hamamatsu is known as an industrial city. Especially, production of musical instruments and transportation equipment are famous among Japanese people. Several major companies such as Yamaha and Suzuki have their headquarters in Hamamatsu City.

As a rail-fan, my attention is drawn to a local private railway company, Enshu Railway (Entetstu). Entetsu has a 17.8 km electrified single track, between Shin-Hamamatsu and Nishikashima stations. The gauge size is 1,067 mm and the electric system is 750 V DC overhead. Although Entetsu is a small local railway, the track is elevated to relieve traffic congestion in the city center. The trains are operated every 12 minutes on average during the daytime.

Trains of Entetsu are called "Akaden (red trains)" by local people. It is because all the Entetsu trains have red colored bodies with a white colored stripe. The EMU 1000 series is Entetsu's representative model. The 1000 series was launched in 1983. A total of 7 sets, 14 units have been built by Nippon Sharyo. Different from the old models such as the 30 series, the 1000 series has rectilinear bodies. The body length is 19 meters, which is quite unique in Japan.

Night view of Hamamatsu City

Official information about Enshu Railway: