Thursday, 19 October 2017

The 50th Anniversary of the Keio-Takao Line

Passing through Takao Daini Tunnel, the EMU Keio 9000 series arrives at Takao-sanguchi Station

On October 1st, Keio Electric Railway Company celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Takao Line. It was opened on October 1st in 1967 between Kitano and Takao-sanguchi. The Keio-Takao Line is a branch route of the Keio Main Line. The route length is 8.6 km. The track is double, but partly single. The gauge size is 1,372 mm. The electric system is 1,500 V DC overhead. The section between Kitano and Yamada is the revival route of the ex-Keio-Goryo Line, which was abolished in 1945 due to the chaos of WWII.

The Keio-Takao Line has two faces, one as a city line for urban commuters, and one as a local line for hikers. There are many new residential areas on the eastern section between Kitano and Takao; while there is a natural forest on the western section between Takao and Takao-sanguchi, which is the gateway station to Mt. Takao. As I posted before, Mt. Takao is a popular sightseeing spot in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Recently, not only Japanese, but also foreign hikers flock to this suburban mountain.

I like the Keio-Takao Line, specifically its western section. After leaving Takao, a west bound train enters into the darkness of the Takao Daiichi Tunnel. After passing through it, a fine view of the forest area bursts into the passengers' sight. The train then passes through another tunnel named Takao-Daini Tunnel and arrives at Takao-sanguchi Terminal. This kaleidoscopic change is my favorite.

Toward the next half century, the Keio-Takao Line is going to go on.

Leaving Takao-sanguchi Station, the EMU Keio 8000 series enters into Takao Daini Tunnel