Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Preserved Streetcar in Yokohama City

Electric car number 1510 of the 1500 series is preserved in the Yokohama Tram Museum

Yokohama is located about 20 km southwest of Tokyo and is the second largest city in Japan. Currently, it has a population of 3.7 million. This mega-city has been developed as Tokyo's outer harbor since the 19th century.

Yokohama once had an extensive tram network. The first route was opened between Kanagawa and Ooebashi stops in 1904 by Yokohama Electric Railway Company. Although the tram was a very useful transportation means for local people, it was unfortunately abolished in 1972 due to heavy traffic congestion in the urban area. Most of the streetcars were then scrapped; however, several units are still preserved in museums, public parks, and schools. Let me introduce my favorite one in the Yokohama Tram Museum today.

Electric car number 1510 of the 1500 series was commissioned in 1951 by the Transportation Bureau of Yokohama City. A total of 20 units of the 1500 series were built by Hitachi, but only two units are preserved in the Tram Museum and the Nogeyama Zoo in the city.

The 1500 series is a 600 V DC and middle-sized (12-meter-long) streetcar for 1,372-mm-wide gauge. Specification of the 1500 series is similar to that of PCC cars, which were developed in the United States in the 1930s. For example, two large frontal windows and the elegant rounded roof represent the characteristics of PCC cars. The 1500 series was also known as the first Japanese electric car, which had fluorescent lamps in the cars.

Interior of the electric car, number 1510 of the 1500 series

Official information about theYokohama Tram Museum (in Japanese):