Friday, 29 January 2021

SDGs Train on the Tokyu-Setagaya Line

Set 307 (SDGs train) of the tramcar Tokyu 300 series

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals, were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. Following SDGs, many companies announced new initiatives taking into consideration, for example, environmental problems.

Tokyu Electric Railway is no exception. In a tie-in with Hankyu and Hanshin electric railways in the Osaka area, Tokyu started to operate the special poster trains named "SDGs Train" on the Toyoko, Den-en-toshi and Setagaya lines from September last year. The purpose of SDGs Trains is to provide a beautiful living environment. These trains are substantially powered by 100% renewable energy.

Apart from a discussion to correspond to SDGs Trains, I'm at least fond of these poster trains as a rail fan. Specifically, the SDGs Train on the Setagaya line is colorful and beautiful. It's set 307 of the tramcar Tokyu 300 series. The 300 series was launched in 1999 to replace the old model such as the DeHa 150 series. The train is articulated and composed of two cars. 10 sets were built in total by Tokyu Sharyo. Each set is a different color such as blueish lavender (Set 307), blue, light green, pink, red, yellow and so on. The gauge size is 1,372 millimeters. The electric system is 600 V DC overhead.

The SDGs train on the Setagaya line runs leisurely through residential areas in a western suburb of Tokyo.

Front view of SDGs Train

Monday, 25 January 2021

Modification of the JR West 207 Series

EMU JR West 207 series stands at Kyoto station yard
When I visited Kyoto City last year, I found JR West's commuter train, the EMU 207 series, on the storage-track facility in Kyoto station yard.

The 207 series is JR West's first self-developed commuter train launched in 1991. It's a 1,067 millimeter-gauge and 1,500 V DC train in the Kansai area. As you know, Kansai is the second largest metropolitan area in Japan. The population now stands at 19 million. More than 1.2 million people commute into Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe and other cities every day. To transport these passengers, 484 cars of the 207 series were built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Kinki Sharyo and others. JR West first adopted the VVVF inverter (variable-frequency drive) as an electric control system on this model. The front shape looks slightly rounded from the side. It's similar to that of the E233-2000 series operated on the Joban local line in Tokyo.

23 years after its debut, JR West started modification of the 207 series for improvement of safety, energy saving and barrier-free. For instance, the frontal lights were changed to HID (High Intensity Discharge) lamps. It's gas-discharge lamps realize high luminosity by means of an electric arc. Needless to say, it's for improvement of safety. The interior lights were also changed to LED lamps for energy saving. The bodies were reinforced for safety against offset and side collisions. Currently, about half of the 207 series are modified ones.

It was fun for me to perceive a small change of train as a trainspotter.

Side view of the EMU JR West 207 series

Thursday, 21 January 2021

EMU 9200 Series: Rare Train on the Hokuso Line

EMU Chiba Newtown Railway 9200 series travels on the Hokuso line

I have already uploaded more than 1,300 posts in this blog over a nine-year period. I thought that all the existing train models in the Tokyo metropolitan area had already been introduced to you here, but I was wrong. I recently found that there are still some more models I haven't shown you yet. The introduction of trains in the Tokyo metropolitan area is almost endless.

The EMU Chiba Newton Railway 9200 series is a rare model. Only one set (eight cars) was built by Nippon Sharyo in 2013. The technical specification of the 9200 series is same as those of the Keisei 3000 and the Hokuso 7500 series. The major difference between these three models is the color of the body stripes. The Chiba Newtown 9200 series has light blue and yellow colored stripes. The Keisei 3000 series has dark-pink and blue-colored stripes, while the Hokuso 7500 series has blue and light-blue colored stripes on their stainless-steel bodies. I like the Chiba Newtown Railway 9200 series best as it's vivid.

Incidentally, Chiba Newtown Railway is a local railway company in Chiba Prefecture. This company has a 12.5-kilometer-long section between Komuro and Inba Nihon-idai stations. The track is double and electrified. The gauge size is 1,435 mm. The electric system is 1,500 V overhead. Chiba Newtown Railway's train is directly operated onto the Hokuso, Keisei, Toei-Asakusa, and Keikyu lines. All the trains on the Chiba Newtown Railway are operated by Hokuso Railway Company. It's a bit of a complicated operating system, isn't it!

EMU Chiba Newtown Railway 9200 series arrives at Komuro station

Sunday, 17 January 2021

Tenku: Nankai's Leisure Train on the Koya Line

Set 2058 of the EMU Nankai 2200 series, "Tenku", stands at Gokurakubashi station
When I visited Koya-san with my family last year, we came across Nankai Electric Railway's leisure train named "Tenku (Sky)" at Gokurakubashi terminal.

The formal name of Tenku is Set 2058 of the EMU Nankai 2200 series. The 2200 series was originally debuted under the name of the EMU 22000 series in 1969. 16 sets, 32 cars, were built by Tokyu Sharyo from 1969 to 1972. The interior and exterior of 4 sets, 8 cars, of the 22000 series were then modified, and changed number to the EMU 2200 series. Set 2203 of the 2200 series was modified and changed number again to Set 2058 (Tenku) in 2009. It's a bit complicated history.

Tenku consists of two motorcars. The electric control system is traditional rheostatic with DC motors. The body is two-toned color of red and green. The red stands for Konpon Daito (the Basic Great Pagoda); meanwhile the green stands for the forest of Koya-san. The train has special front view seats, wide view seats, compartment seats and an observation deck. The passengers can relax and enjoy the mountain view on the Koya line.

After taking photos of the Tenku train, we headed to Koya-san passing through Daimon. What's Daimon? It's a large front gate at the entrance of the Buddhist temple settlement. This wooden gate was reconstructed in 1705. It's 25.8 meters tall and one of the largest wooden two-storied gates in Japan. Irimoya style (semigabled), two-storied gate is a main gateway to the Koya-san area.

Daimon, Koya-san

Official information about the leisure train "Tenku" (in Japanese):
Official information about Koya-san:

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Preserved Electric Car in Kyoto City

N28 of the Kyoto Municipal Transportation Bureau N1 series is preserved in Kyoto City

When I visited Kyoto City last September, I found an old preserved tramcar in a building of the city center. What was that?

It's an electric car, N28 of the Kyoto Municipal Transportation Bureau N1 series. The N1 series was commissioned in 1912 by Kyoto Electric Railway Company. 133 cars were built by Umehachi Tekko. All cars were taken over by Kyoto Municipal Transportation Bureau in 1918, and operated until 1961, when the Kitano line was abolished. The N1 series is an electric car for the 1,067 millimeters-wide track with a 600 V direct current electric system. It has two direct current electric motors (25 HP each) with a direct electric control system. The travelling truck is a single truck made by J.G. Brill and Company in the United States. The brake system is a horizontal one-handled hand brake. The electric current collectors for vehicles are trolley poles. Passenger doors are not equipped on the side body. This tiny tramcar is a precious historical memorial for Japanese railways.

Incidentally, Kyoto Municipal Transportation Bureau was established in 1912. Taking over Kyoto Electric Railway Company, they operated tramcars from 1918 to 1978. They had two kinds of tracks namely the 1,067 millimeters-wide narrow gauge track and the 1,435 millimeters-wide standard gauge track. The total operating length was 68.8 kilometers. Although the tram was a very useful transportation means for local people, it was unfortunately abolished in 1978 due to heavy traffic congestion in the city. It's quite regrettable, isn't it?

Front view of N28

Saturday, 9 January 2021

The Sunset over Tanzawa Mountains

Set R7 of the EMU JR East 205-500 series arrives at Shimomizo station

It's mid-winter in Japan. The maximum daytime temperature is around 10 degrees Celsius in Tokyo. Although it's a bit cold, I went to the suburban area for strolling on the weekend. My destination was Hakkei-no-tana in Sagamihara City, Kanagawa Prefecture about 60 kilometers southwest of Tokyo. Hakkei-no-tana is famous among local people for its superb view overlooking Sagami River and the Tanzawa mountains. You can see a beautiful sunset from there. When I visited there, there were several "sunset lovers" who brought their cameras waiting for the beautiful twilight glow.

To get to this viewing spot, the nearest railway station is Shimomizo on the JR East Sagami line. The Sagami line penetrates the western part of Kanagawa Prefecture from north to south. Connecting Hashimoto and Chigasaki stations, its total length is 33.3 kilometers. The entire route is electrified and single. The electric system is 1,500 V DC overhead. 4-car trains named the EMU 205-500 series are operated every 20 minutes on average.

The 205-500 series was launched in 1991, when the route was electrified. 13 sets, 52 cars, were built by Tokyu Sharyo and JR East Ofuna Factory. Its technical specification is rather old at this distance of time, but the 205-500 series is still operated as the only model on the line. It will be replaced by a new model, E131 series, or the E231 series moved from the Tokaido line in the near future, but it has not been officially announced yet by JR East.

Incidentally, I have linked to an infromative website, JABODETABEK COMMUTERS NEWS (in Japanese). Please enjoy the latest news on the urban railways in Indonesia.

Sunset over the Tanzawa mountains

Tuesday, 5 January 2021

The 3rd Generation Seibu Lions Train

Set 20104 of the EMU Seibu 20000 series, the L-train, travels on the Shinjuku line

As I posted before, Seibu Railway is well known for their aggressive diversified businesses. They are, for example, department stores, real estate and hotels. Among the many businesses, the most famous of these is the sponsoring of a professional baseball team, namely the Saitama Seibu Lions. This team is based at the Seibu Baseball Field in Tokorozawa City, Saitama Prefecture, on the Seibu line. Of course baseball fans are expected to take the Seibu line to go to the stadium.

To support and promote the Lions, Seibu operates a special poster train named the L-train on their lines. The first generation one was the EMU 3000 series-based. The current one is the EMU 20000 series-based, set number 20104. It was built in 2003 and modified to the L-train in 2018. It's a 10-car train with five motorcars (5M5T). The body is wrapped in "legend blue (deep blue)", which is the Lions' team color, and it's decorated with team logos, famous players' photos and team characters. The L-train holds a special place in a total of 18 sets of the 20000 series.

Incidentally, the 20000 series is one of Seibu's major rolling stock. It debuted in 2000 as a new generation commuter train following the 6000 series. The standard cars have light blue colored stripes on the aluminum bodies. 135kW/h induction motors with an IGBT-VVVF (Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor-variable frequency drive) invertor electric control and regenerative brake systems are equipped. 144 cars were built in total by Hitachi.

L-train (right)

Friday, 1 January 2021

Hakone Tozan Railway: Update

Electric cars Hakone-Tozan MoHa 104-MoHa 106-MoHa 109
Happy New Year! The year 2021 has begun. 
I recently visited Hakone Mountain for the first time in two years. What was new with this unique mountain railway?

First, the railway track had been repaired. In October 2019, a strong typhoon, No.3, named Yagi, hit the Kanto region including Hakone Mountain. Because of landslides and mudflows, several parts of the track were severely damaged. The railway company made every effort to promote rehabilitation and reconstruction of the affected sections. As a result, the closed line was reopened on July 23rd, 2020. It was financially supported by the local government, and brought forwarded three months. That's really good news.

Second, coloring designs of two classic electric cars had been changed. Unit MoHa 106 of the MoHa 1 series was changed to the light blue and yellow two-toned. On the other hand, Unit MoHa 109 of the MoHa 2 series was changed to a deep green color. The previous body colors of these two cars were vermillion and light gray two-toned. These two kinds of new color designs were definitely my favorites. Specifically, the deep green color was nostalgic as it was the original body color of Hakone Tozan Railway in 1927.

Incidentally, Unit 109 of the MoHa2 series was originally built by Nippon Sharyo. The original name of the 109 was electric car number 9 of the ChiKi 2 series. The body of this old electric car was, then, replaced by a steel one by Toyo Kohki in 1955. The car number was also changed from 9 to 109.

EMU Hakone Tozan 1000 series (left) and electric car MoHa 109 of the MoHa 2 series (right)