Thursday, 26 March 2020

Evergreen Commuter Train on the Hankyu Line

EMU Hankyu 5300 series arrives at Juso station on the Kyoto line (November, 2014)    

I am going to continue to show you my old photographs, which I recently rediscovered on my hard disk.

Hankyu is one of the major private railway companies in the Kansai (Kobe, Osaka and Kyoto) area. It operates about a 140 kilometers-long line network, and carries an average of two million passengers per day. The track gauge is 1,435 mm and the electric system is 1,500 V DC overhead. All the trains on the Hankyu line have been keeping up a tradition for a long time, which is known as the "Hankyu maroon" trains. This tradition refers to the color, which is like a chocolate or a dark brown shell of a sweet chestnut, and it is very popular among passengers and rail-fans for its elegance.

The EMU 5300 series is no exception. It was launched in 1972 for the Kyoto line. A total of 105 units were built by Alna Kohki between 1972 and 1984. It has an old rheostatic electric control system. You can see large resistor boxes under the train floors. Moreover, it has a dynamic brake system, but it doesn't have a modern regenerative brake system. We no longer see these kinds of old systems on the commuter trains in Tokyo. Although the technical specification is rather out-of-date, the robust steel bodies of the 5300 series are still maintained beautifully. That's "Hankyu maroon". I love it.

EMU Hankyu 5300 series stands at Juso station on the Kyoto line (November, 2014)