|DMU Chizu Express Railway 7000 series arrives at Kyoto station|
|Side view of the HOT 7000 series|
|DMU Chizu Express Railway 7000 series arrives at Kyoto station|
|Side view of the HOT 7000 series|
|Set 7753 of the Sotetsu New 7000 series arrives at Izumi-chuo station|
|Set 7753 of the EMU Sotetsu New 7000 series leaves Izumi-chuo station|
|EMU Nankai 30000 series stands at Gokurakubashi station|
I recently visited the JR East Hachiko line for the first time in three years. What was new with this local line in the western part of the Tokyo metropolitan area?
I found that the two models, namely the EMU 205-3000 and 209-3000 series, had disappeared from the track. The 205-3000 series was transferred to the Hachiko line in 2005 to replace the EMU, 103 series, which used to be operated on the Yamanote line in the downtown Tokyo area. The 205-3000 series was the first stainless-steel train on the Hachiko line. It had contributed to the modernization of the Hachiko line, but was eventually retired in July, 2018. Another retired model, the 209-3000 series, was introduced to the Hachiko line in July, 1996. It was built as new cars by Tokyu Sharyo and Kawasaki Heavy industries. The white colored frame on the front showed a simple square design. This group had an orange and light green colored stripes on the body. The 209-3000 series was retired from the Hachiko line in February, 2019.
On the other hand, a new model named the 209-3500 series was introduced to the Hachiko line in May, 2018. This model was originally operated on the Sobu-Chuo local line under the name of the 209-500 series, but transferred to the Hachiko line after several modifications. This transfer was originally caused by the introduction of the new model, the E235 series, onto the Yamanote line in the downtown Tokyo area.
To be continued...
Set 407 of the EMU JR West 103 series stands at Kyoto station
Official information about JR West local trains (in Japanese):
On March 20th this year, Tobu Railway launched a brand new train, the EMU 70090 series, on their Isesaki line. Same as the pre-existing 70000 series, the new 70090 series is directly operated onto the Tokyo Metro-Hibiya line.
What's the major difference between the pre-existing 70000 series and the new 70090 series? A simple answer is that the new 70090 series is the high-end version of the pre-existing 70000 series. The 70090 series has multi-purpose seats, which the conductor can change from long seats to cross seats using a remote control system. On the other hand, the 70000 series has simple standard long seats only.
The cross seat mode of the new 70090 series is applied, when it's operated as a reserved seat train, "TH Liner"; while the long seat mode is applied when it's operated as a standard commuter train. This convenient remote control system is similar to those of the Tobu 50090 series, the Keio 5000 series and the Seibu 40000 series.
What's the body design difference between the pre-existing 70000 series and the new 70090 series? They look similar, but their stripes are slightly different. The 70000 series has a red-colored thick stripe on the side body; while the 70090 series has a black-colored one.
Incidentally, the technical specifications of the 70000 and the 70090 are basically the same. One set is composed of 7 motor cars without trailers. The electric control system is the state of the art Si-IGBT VVVF inverter with PMSMs (permanent magnet synchronous induction motors).
On March 27th this year, the last set of the EMU Tobu 20000 series quietly retired from the subway Hibiya line. It was the end of an era.
The Tobu 20000 series was launched in 1988. It was a train for direct operation between the subway Tokyo Metro-Hibiya line and the Tobu-Isesaki line. Twenty-four sets of 8-car trains (192 cars) were built by Tokyu-sharyo and Alna-sharyo. The greatest feature of this train was its bolsterless bogies. As its name suggests, a bolsterless bogie is a bogie that connects to the body without using a bolster spring. A bolsterless bogie instead connects to the body with air springs. Needless to say, a bolsterless bogie makes the train lighter and therefore saves on energy consumption.
After its retirement from the Hibiya line, the 20000 series was renovated and transferred to Tobu's local lines in the countryside. The new name of the renovated 20000 series is the 20400 series. What are the major differences between the old 20000 and the new 20400 series? Firstly, the number of cars per set decreased from 8 (the 20000 series) to 4 (the 20400 series). Secondly, manual operation buttons for the passenger doors were equipped anew beside each door of the 20400 series. Thirdly, the colors of the body stripes were changed from russet brown to yellow and dark blue.
On September 3rd, 2018, the first set of the 20400 series debuted on the Tobu-Utsunomiya line. Tobu Railway... here too surged a wave of generational change.
|EMU Odakyu 20000 series, Romance Car RSE (June, 2011) |
|Romance Car RSE, stands at Hakone-Yumoto station (July, 2011)|
|EMU Tobu 50090 series stands at Ikebukuro terminal on the Tojo line|
Coleus is a plant that belongs to the Lamiaceae family. It has multicolored decorative leaves. I recently found a beautiful coleus garden in Musashi Kyuryo National Government Park in Saitama Prefecture. Red, green, yellow and mixed colored coleuses were orderly planted on a slope under a grove. It was very splendid and beautiful.
To visit Musashi Kyuryo National Government Park, the nearest station is Shinrin-koen on the Tobu-Tojo line. It takes 48 minutes from Ikebukuro terminal in a subcenter of Tokyo by "Kawagoe Express" train. Kawagoe Express debuted in March, 2019, to promote tourism to the sightseeing spots in Kawagoe City and other areas such as Musashi Kyuryo National Government Park on the Tobu-Tojo line.
Tobu Railway provides the passengers with a high-end commuter train named the EMU 50090 series as Kawagoe Express train. The EMU 50090 series has multi-purpose seats, which a conductor can change from long to cross seats using a remote control. Kawagoe Express is operated in the cross-seat mode at no extra charge. Tobu Railway is so generous.
Incidentally, the 50090 series was launched in 2008 under the name of TJ Liner. Six sets, 60 cars, were built by Hitachi. Their sister trains, namely 50000, 50050 and 50070 series are also operated on the Tojo and the other Tobu lines. These trains have basically same technical specifications, and look similar, but only the 50090 series has multi-purpose seats and a purple-colored stripe on the side bodies. This stripe is a symbol of Tobu's high-end commuter train.
Coleus garden in Musashi-kyuryo National Government Park
Official information about Tobu trains (in Japanese):
|EMU Hankyu 6300 series arrived at Katsura station on the Hankyu Arashiyama line |
I'm going to continue to show you my short stay in Kyoto City last month.
A rickshaw is a human-powered vehicle for transporting people, used as a means of getting around. It was developed in the early 1870's in Japan. The number of rickshaws peaked in the 1920's, and decreased rapidly as it was replaced by other means of transportation. You can no longer see rickshaws in Japan. No, no. That's not right. I certainly saw one carrying tourists on board in the bamboo grove of Arashiyama in Kyoto City. When I strolled in the grove with my family, we came across rickshaws, which have revived as a tourist attraction in the historical city.
In the evening, we came back to downtown Kyoto taking the Hankyu Arashiyama line. Our vehicle was the EMU 6300 series. It's an old model originally developed as a limited express train on the Kyoto main line. The 6300 series is the 1976 Blue Ribbon Winner. As you know, the Blue Ribbon Prize is an annual award presented by Japan Railfan Club to the best train that was launched in the previous year. The 6300 series were then transferred to the Arashiyama line in 2009. The passenger seats were changed from cross to semi-cross (cross and long) seats, as many tourists use this train. Although 45 years have passed since the 6300 series debuted, it's still beautiful. That's Hankyu quality.
The rickshaw and the EMU Hankyu 6300 series... they are evergreen means of transportation in Kyoto City.
|A rickshaw in the bamboo grove of Arashiyama|
|A scenic train bound for Torokko-Kameoka travels on the Sagano scenic line|
|DE10-1104 DL stands at Torokko-Saga station on the Sagano scenic railway|
SK200-1 passenger coach
Official information about Sagano scenic railway: https://www.sagano-kanko.co.jp/en/
|Electric car Keifuku MoBo 26 of the MoBo 21 series stands at Arashiyama station|
Adashino is known as an ancient place for funeral in Kyoyo City. It used to be an aerial sepulture where the dead body was exposed to the wind until it was eroded completely. In 811, Kukai, a Buddhist monk, founded Nenbutsu-ji temple in Adashino to bury remains of the dead, which had been left unattended. Some eight thousand stone Buddhist statuettes, which had been scattered around Adashino, were then collected, and memorialized the souls of the dead.
To visit Nenbutsu-ji temple, the nearest station is Arashiyama on the Arashiyama main line of Keifuku Electric Railway. Legally, the Arashiyama main line is not a railway but a tramway. Connecting Arashiyama and Shijo-Omiya stations, its route length is 7.2 kilometers. The gauge size is 1,435 millimeters. The electric system is 600 V DC overhead. The train is single or composed of 2 cars, and operated every 10 minutes in the daytime.
The retro designed electric car, MoBo 21 series, is popular among sightseers. It has a brown colored 15 meter-long steel body. Its classic double roof, large Z-shaped pantograph and large rounded front lights are definitely my favorite. Two cars, namely MoBo 26 and 27 of the MoBo 21 series, were built in 1994 commemorating the 1200th anniversary of the transfer of the national capital to Kyoto. The technical specification of the MoBo 21 series is rather old, as its travelling apparatus such as the traditional camshaft type rheostatic electric control system was taken from the old retired electric cars.
|Stone Buddhist statuettes in Nenbutsu-ji temple|
|EMU Kintetsu 3220 series stands at Karasuma-Oike station|
|EMU Kintetsu 3200 series leaves Gojo station on the subway Karasuma line|
|EMU 10 series stands at Kyoto station on the subway Karasuma line|
Osawa pond in Daitoku-ji temple
Official information about the EMU 10 series on the subway Karasuma line, part 1 ( in Japanese):
Official information about the EMU 10 series on the subway Karasuma line, part 2 ( in Japanese):