Saturday, 9 December 2017

Electric Car 1001: National Important Cultural Property

Electric car 1001 of the 1000 series is exhibited in the Subway Museum

I recently visited the Subway Museum (Tokyo Metro Museum) for the first time in six years. What was the news with this unique rail-fans' paradise?

On September 15th, the exhibited car, No. 1001 of the 1000 series, was designated as a National Important Cultural Property. The 1001 is Japan's first subway electric car. It had been operated on the Ginza Line, which is Japan's first subway route. The Ginza Line was opened in 1927 in Tokyo. The subway electric car, No. 1001, was also commissioned that year. It is a 15.5 meter-long small car built by Kisha-seizo. The sills, headers and rivets on the wall look very tough, but, the yellowish steel body with a reddish brown colored roof looks elegant.

From November 3rd to 5th of this year, the interior of the 1001 was opened on special occasions. Using this opportunity, I could examine the interior closely. For instance, I found that the indirect lighting system was adopted. The 1001 was probably Japan's first passenger car with the indirect lighting system. The 1001 traveled on the dark underground track all day long, so that the indirect lighting system was easy on the eyes of passengers. I also found that the floor was made of linoleum. In the 1920's, the floor of most passenger cars was made of wood, so that the linoleum floor was revolutionary. As you may know, linoleum is an incombustible substance, which is suitable for the subway car.

I never run out of things to talk about the subways.

Interior of electric car 1001

Official information about the Subway Museum (Tokyo Metro Museum):