Saturday, 10 August 2019

Good-bye to the Tokyu 8500 Series on the Oimachi Line

8641F of the EMU Tokyu 8500 series travels on the Oimachi line (January, 2018)

A long-lived train, the EMU Tokyu 8500 series, was eventually retired from the Tokyu Oimachi line on April 5th this year. I have now realized that one era is coming to a close.

The 8500 series was launched in 1975, when the Tokyu Den-en-toshi line trains started to be directly operated onto the subway Hanzomon line. It was, then, introduced onto the Oimachi line as well in 1986. A total of 400 units were built by Tokyu Sharyo.

The technical specification of the 8500 series was almost the same as that of the older 8000 series, but the outer design of the 8500 and the 8000 series was slightly different. For instance, the newer 8500 series had three displays on the front; meanwhile, the older 8000 series had one display only.

The electric motor of the 8500 series was traditional direct current compound (130 kW) and the electric control system was old field chopper. The stainless-steel bodies with corrugated structures were old-fashioned, but very stout and trouble-proof. The growling running sound of the 8500 series was very nostalgic and definitely my favorite. It was exactly the sound of trains in the 1970's. 

After retirement from the Oimachi line, the 8500 series became an endangered species of trains. Few units of them are only operated on the Tokyu Den-en-toshi line, Chichibu Railway, Nagano Electric Railway and the commuter lines in Jakarta, Indonesia. Please hurry up and take their photos before it is too late!

8638F of the EMU Tokyu 8500 series arrives at Hatanodai station (January, 2018)