Sunday, 31 March 2019

EMU 2000 Series: New Model on the Marunouchi Line

2103F of the EMU Tokyo Metro 2000 series stands at Yotsuya station

On February 23rd, Tokyo Metro launched a new model on their Marunouchi Line for the first time in 30 years. 

The brand new train named EMU 2000 series has aluminum alloy bodies with rounded shaped frontal design. Its body color is glowing red with a white stripe. Look closely, the stripe has silver colored sign curves inward, which are the same design as the first generation model, electric car 300 series, on the Marunouchi line. The round-shaped side windows are cute and my favorite. With respect to the technical specifications, the 2000 series adopts some new technologies for example single axle steering truck. Thanks to the new truck, the 2000 series can be smoothly and quietly operated even on tight curves.

The 2000 series has free spaces in the cars. There are small tables and baggage hangers in the free spaces. Power receptacles are also equipped so that passengers can charge their mobile phones as necessary. Currently, 3 sets, 18 units of the 2000 series are operated on the Marunouchi line. Tokyo Metro plans to introduce a total of 53 sets, 318 units of the 2000 series by 2022. 

For your information, the Marunouchi Line is Tokyo's second oldest subway route that was primarily opened between Ikebukuro and Ochanomizu (6.4 kilomters) in 1954. Currently, its total route length is 27.4 kilometers including the Honancho branch line. The gauge size is 1,435 mm and the electric system is 600 V DC third rail.

Thursday, 28 March 2019

Night Museum in Saitama City: Part 4

Unit number 89 of the electric locomotive Class EF 58 is preserved at the Railway Museum

When I joined the night museum event at the Railway Museum last month, I found an important exhibition in the museum. That was an electric locomotive (EL), unit number 89 of the Class EF58.

The Class EF58 was a direct current EL developed by the Japanese National Railways (JNR) in 1946. A total of 172 units were built by Hitachi, Tokyo Shibaura Denki (present Toshiba) and the others from 1946 to 1958. Failures often occurred during the operation in the early period, but it started working well after a large technical improvement in 1952. The body length of EF58 is 19.9 meters, which is rather big. The gauge size is 1,067 millimeters and the electric system is 1,500 V DC overhead. The axis arrangement is 2-C-C-2 in JNR notation. The rated power output is 1,900 kW. The Class EF58 was commissioned as both freight and passenger trains.

All units of the Class EF58 have completed their operation by 2011 due to deterioration. Currently, only 5 units are preserved at museums and parks. Unit 58 (EF58 89) is preserved at Railway Museum in Saitama City. It was built by Hitachi in 1956 and belonged to Utsunomiya Depot in Tochigi Prefecture at first, but it was then transferred to Tabata Depot in Tokyo. After the retirement in 1999, EF58 89 was moved to Railway Museum in 2007 before the opening of the museum. 

Class EF58 supported the reconstruction of post-WWII Japanese industries and societies. Arigatou (thank you) EF58. Please have a good rest.

The product plaque of EF58 89 and the name of  manufacturer "Hitachi"

Official guide of the Railway Museum:
Official guide of the electric locomotive Class EF58 (in Japanese):

Monday, 25 March 2019

Electric Car KoDe 165: New Color

Electric car Izu-Hakone KoDe 165 (new color)

I recently visited the Daiyuzan line of Izu-Hakone Railway for the first time in two years. What was new with this local private railway?

I found that the coloring of the construction vehicle named KoDe 165 was changed from yellow to a chocolate color. KoDe 165 was built in 1928 as MoHa 30166 passenger electric car on the Japanese Government Railways. In 1960, it was moved to Sagami Railway and used as a passenger car known as KuHa 2510. In 1976, it was transferred again to Izu-Hakone Railway and used as a passenger car with a name change to MoHa 165. Eventually, it was modified to a construction vehicle known as KoDe 165 in 1997. For your information, "KoDe" stands for a "construction electric car" in Japanese.

One of the missions for KoDe 165 is to pull commuter trains as a freight train. It happens when the commuter train is to be inspected. As you may know, Izu-Hakone Railway doesn't have its own railway factory on the Daiyuzan line. Their sole railway factory named Daiba Factory is located only on the Sunzu line; therefore, the commuter trains on the Daiyuzan line have to be transported to their Sunzu line via JR East Tokaido main line. That's an important mission for KoDe 165.

In March 2018, KoDe 165 got a change in its body color and appeared before rail-fans. Its new color is my favorite, as it is what I saw many commuter trains in my childhood. It is so nostalgic.

KoDe 165 (left) and 5501F of the EMU Izu-Hakone 5000 series (right)

Friday, 22 March 2019

Standard Commuter Trains on the Kintetsu Line

Set VC56 of the EMU Kintetsu 1230 Series

Following the EMU 1810 and 1010 series, I am going to show you the Kintetsu trains today. 

Sitting on the stool bar in the observation room of the Ise-Shima Liner, I continued taking photographs of Kintetsu trains coming from the traveling direction. I frequently met the EMU 1230 series. It is a standard commuter train operated on the 1,435 mm-gauge tracks of the Kintetsu lines. The 1230 series has 20 meter-long aluminum alloy bodies with 8 doors per car. One set is composed of two cars (1M1T). All units were built by Kinki Sharyo from 1989 to 1998. A total of 40 sets, 80 units, are currently operated on the Kintetsu lines. The electric system is 1,500 V DC overhead and its control system is GTO-VVVF (variable frequency drive) manufactured by Hitachi.

The 1230 series are the most flexible trains in their operation among the Kintetsu trains. It is operated not only on trunk routes such as the Osaka and Nagoya lines, but also on local routes such as the Shima, Nara and Kyoto lines. Furthermore, it is able to be directly operated onto the Hanshin Electric Railway.

There are subtle differences in the technical specifications among the 1230 series. For example, some sets have Schlieren-type trucks; meanwhile, the other sets have bolsterless trucks. The Schlieren-type truck was developed by Kinki Sharyo in 1954 under a technical tie-up with Schlieren Company in Switzerland. It is fun for me to perceive the fine difference among the Kintetsu trains as a trainspotter.

Set VC32 of the EMU Kintetsu 1230 Series

Official information about tge EMU Kintetsu 1230 series (in Japanese):

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Early Blooming Cherry Blossoms on the Daiyuzan Line

5506F of the EMU Izu-Hakone 5000 series arrives at Odawara station

I recently took the Daiyuzan line of Izu-Hakone Railway with my family for the first time in two years. Our destination was Fujifilm-mae station as we visited a cherry-tree-lined path named Harukimichi near the station.

It was still the middle of March but the cherry trees were already fully blooming there. It was too early. Why? It was because the cherry blossoms of Harukimichi are early blooming species called Harumeki-sakura. This precious species was developed by the local people 19 years ago. Its blooming season is later than Kawazu-sakura (Kawazu cherry) but earlier than Someiyosino (ordinary cherry) so that Harumeki-sakura acts as an intermediary between two kinds of cherries.

To get to Fujifilm-mae station, our vehicle was the EMU Izu-Hakone 5000 series. It is the sole model on the Daiyuzan line. A total of 7 sets, 21 units were built by Tokyu Sharyo (present J-TREC) from 1984 to 1996. Only the 1st set (5501F) is steel, while the other 6 sets (5502F to 5507F) are stainless-steel. One set consists of 2 motorcars and 1 trailer (2M1T). The electric control system is a rheostatic with an electric power generation brake.

For your information, the Daiyuzan Line was opened in 1925 between Odawara and Daiyuzan stations. It was constructed to transport worshippers to the famous Saijo-ji Temple. The route length is 9.6 km. The track is 1,067 mm-size single and electrified. The electric system is 1,500 V DC overhead. Trains are operated every 12 minutes on average.

Harumeki-sakura (early blooming cherry) trees are in full bloom near Fujifilm-mae station

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Preserved Train on the Fujikyu Line

Unit 2001 of the EMU Fujikyu 2000 series (a front view)

Fujikyu maintains a strong corporate business. The trains are always crowded with foreign sightseers. In accordance with this situation, Fujikyu has been introducing new trains one after another. On the other hand, the old models had been retired and scrapped. The EMU 2000 series was no exception. It was retired from the track in 2016, and unit KuRo 2001 is only preserved and exhibited at the Shimoyoshida rail yard.

The EMU Fujikyu 2000 series was originally built as a standard express train, the EMU 165 series, for the Japanese National Railways (JNR) in the 1960's. After about twenty years, it was modified to JNR's sightseeing train named Panorama Express Alps in 1987. Panorama Express Alps was a unique train, as the cockpit was upstairs. It means that the passengers could enjoy a view through the front window.

Panorama Express Alps was then sold to Fujikyu in 2001. After the renovation, Fujikyu launched it under the name of the EMU 2000 series, Fuji-san Express, in 2002. There were two sets of the 2000 series on the Fujikyu line... set number 2001 and 2002. One set was composed of 3 cars (2M1T). Each set had two kinds of front cars. One was the observation car whose cockpit was upstairs, and the other was the standard type front car. The technical specification of the 2000 series was rather old, as it was originally built in the 1960's, for example it had an old rheostatic electric control system with DC motors.

Unit 2001 of the EMU Fujikyu 2000 series (gable side)

Monday, 11 March 2019

EMU 1810 and 1010 Series: Old Kintetsu Trains

Set H26 of the EMU Kintetsu 1810 series

I am going to continue to show you the Kintetsu trains today.

Sitting on the stool bar in the observation room of the Ise-Shima Liner, I took photographs of Kintetsu trains frequently coming from the traveling direction. The EMU 1810 series was my favorite one. It is a standard commuter train operated on the 1,435 mm-gauge tracks. A total of 43 units were built by Kinki Sharyo from 1967 to 1979. Most of them had already been scrapped, but 4 units are still operated on the Nagoya line. The 1810 series has a 20 meter-long steel body with 8 doors per car. One set is composed of two cars (1M1T). The electric control system is an old rheostatic system.

The EMU 1010 series is also an old standard commuter train operated on the 1,435 mm-gauge tracks. It debuted in 1972 under the name of the EMU 920 series. A total of 6 sets, 18 units, were built by Kinki Sharyo. After the renovation, it was moved from the Kyoto line to the Nagoya line in 1981. Currently, 4 sets, 12 units, are still operated on the line. The electric control system is a field magnetic potential phase control.

Incidentally, the 1810 and 1010 series look the same, but there is a subtle difference between the two models. The 1810 series has a skirt squeezing part on the body; meanwhile, the 1010 series has a simple straight body. That kind of discovery is a great gratification for a trainspotter like me.

Set T16 of the EMU Kintetsu 1010 series

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Doll's Festival in Ito City

EMU Izukyu 2100 series (left) and EMU JR East 185 series (right)  

March 3rd was Hina-matsuri, the Doll's Festival for girls. In this season in Japan, families with girls display a set of dolls in ancient court costumes and pray for their girls' growth and happiness. It is believed that the dolls protect girls from sickness or ill-fortune.

Hina-matsuri of Ito City in Shizuoka Prefecture is no exception. I recently visited there with my family. The local people hold festivals in each household and area. Magaribina is one of the famous areal events in the city. People in Monomigaoka area bring their dolls, which they no longer use in their households, to the local temple, Butsugen-ji. The dolls are then displayed on the 118 stone steps in front of the temple. It is very beautiful.

To get to this festival city, the nearest station is Ito on the JR East Ito and Izukyu lines. It takes about one hour and forty minutes from Tokyo station by limited express train. On my way back home, I was able to take a photo of the JR East's limited express train, "Odoriko" (EMU 185 series), and Izukyu's Kurofune Train (EMU 2100 series) on the Ito line. The 185 series is an old limited express train developed by Japanese National Railways in 1981; meanwhile, the 2100 series is a sightseeing train developed by Izukyu in 1990. According to JR East, the EMU 185 series will be replaced by the EMU E257 series soon, so my photo will be precious in the future.

Magaribina event is held in Ito City

Monday, 4 March 2019

EMU Kintetsu 12200 Series: New Snack Car

EMU Kintetsu 12200 series, New Snack Car, heads up to Nagoya

Subsequent to my last post, I am going to continue to show you the Kintetsu train today.

Sitting on the stool bar in the observation room of the Ise-Shima Liner, I could take many photos of Kintetsu trains frequently coming from the traveling direction. My favorite one was the EMU 12200 series named "New Snack Car".


The 12200 series was launched in 1969 as a mass-produced version of the EMU 12000 series, "Snack Car". A total of 168 units were built by Kinki Sharyo. It is commissioned as limited express trains on the 1,435 mm-gauge tracks. The technical specification is rather old, for instance, it has a rheostatic electric control system with DC motors. Many of the units had already been scrapped or modified to the other models, but 74 units are still operated on the lines. Why is it called New Snack Car? It is because the 12200 series once had a kitchen room and offered snacks to passengers same as the 12000 series (Snack Car). Regrettably, the kitchen room was removed later due to a decline in users, but rail fans still call the 12200 series New Snack Car.


I like New Snack Car as it is a real Kintetsu limited express train. The body is orange colored with a dark blue stripe. It is a traditional Kintetsu color design and definitely my favorite.


On January 11th, 2018, Kintetsu issued a press release announcing that the new limited express model will debut in the spring of the year 2020. It means that the 12200 series will disappear soon. Nobody can stop time.

EMU Kintetsu 12200 series, New Snack Car, heads down to Kashikojima

Official information about the EMU 12200 series, New Snack Car (in Japanese):

Friday, 1 March 2019

Ise-Shima Liner on the Kintetsu Line

EMU Kintetsu 23000 series, Ise-Shima Liner, stands at Nagoya station

Kintetsu has various kinds of limited express trains. They are Shimakaze (EMU 50000 series), Urban Liner (EMU 21000 series), Vista-EX (EMU 30000 series), ACE (EMU 22000 and 22600 series), Blue Symphony (EMU 16200 series) and so on. I am going to show you the other model today.

Ise-Shima Liner (EMU 23000 series) is a reputable limited express train on the Kintetsu lines. It was commissioned in 1994 for tourists from Osaka and Nagoya to the Ise-Shima resort area in Mie Prefecture. A total of 6 sets, 36 units were built by Kinki Sharyo. The 23000 series was developed as a train for group tours to the resort area. It has a salon car with semi-compartments for group passengers and a deluxe car with luxurious seats. The design of the 23000 series is unique since it has a sharp streamlined face. There are two types of body colors. One is yellow and another is red. With regard to the technical specifications, the 23000 series consists of four motorcars and two trailers (4M2T). The gauge size is 1,435 millimeters and the electric system is 1,500 V DC overhead. The electric control system is GTO-VVVF inverter (variable frequency drive) manufactured by Mitsubishi Electric Corporation.

My favorite spot on the 23000 series is an observation room where the passengers can enjoy the view ahead through the cockpit. It is a must-see attraction for rail-fans. I am going to show you several photos of the other Kintetsu trains taken from this spot in the next post.

Obervation room of the EMU Kintetsu 23000 series, Ise-Shima Liner

Official information about Kintetsu's limited express trains:
Official information about Kintetsu Ise-Shima Liner (in Japanese):