Monday, 12 February 2018

EMU Keihan 5000 Series: Unique and Flexible

EMU Keihan 5000 series stands at Demachiyanagi Station on the Outo Line

The Kinki region, which includes Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo and four other prefectures, is the second largest metropolitan area in Japan. The population of the region now stands at 21 million. More than 13 million passengers use the railways every day.

Along with the Tokyo metropolitan area, the railway network in the Kinki region is extensive and labyrinthine. As a rail fan, I prefer the railways in the Kinki region to those in Tokyo to be honest. It is because the railways in this region have a great variety of trains. The design of the trains is also more unique than that of trains in Tokyo.

Let me introduce an example of unique trains. The EMU Keihan 5000 series is a flexible vehicle. It has 10 doors per car to load and unload passengers smoothly during rush hours. On the other hand, it decreased to 6 doors per car to secure enough passenger seats during the daytime. The gimmick is as follows. During the daytime, 4 doors per car are constantly closed. Additional passenger seats are then descended from the ceiling automatically to the closed doors. What a flexible structure it is! The EMU 5000 series was launched in 1970 to mitigate congestion during rush hours. A total of 42 units were built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries. It is Keihan's first train with aluminum alloys bodies.

48 years have already passed since the 5000 series debuted. It is said that the 5000 series will be retired from the track by 2020.

Interior of the EMU Keihan 5000 series

Official information about the EMU Keihan 5000 series (in Japanese):