Monday, 17 September 2018

Streetcar Toei 8900 Series: Update

Car number 8903 of the Toei 8900 series (blue)

Three years have passed since the streetcar 8900 series debuted on the Arakawa line. I recently visited the line for the first time in a long time to see what was new with this streetcar model.

I found that the 8900 series has grown to a total of 8 cars. The body colors have also increased to 4 types. They are orange (car number 8901 and 8902), blue (car number 8903 and 8904), rose-red (car number 8905 and 8906) and yellow (car number 8907 and 8908). The technical specifications of the 8900 series are similar to those of the senior 8800 series, but the appearances are different from the 8800 series. For instance, the body shape of the 8900 series is more angular than that of the 8800 series. The auxiliary power supply is installed under the floor of the 8900 series; meanwhile, it was seen on the roof of the 8800 series. 

Incidentally, the Arakawa line is a precious survivor of the tram route in Tokyo. It is operated by the Transportation Bureau of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (Toei). Connecting Waseda and Minowabashi stops, its operating length is 12.2 kilometers. The track is 1,372 millimeter-size gauge and double. The electric system is 600 V DC overhead catenary. A large part of the line is an exclusive track, but a short section remains as a shared track with a public road. The 8900 series was launched in 2015 to replace the old 7000 series.

Car number 8908 of the Toei 8900 series (yellow)