Saturday, 1 May 2021

My Favorite Train in the Historic City

Set 501 of the EMU Enoden 500 series (left)
I recently visited Kamakura City in Kanagawa Prefecture, as something came up. Kamakura, about 40 kilometers south of Tokyo, is known as a historic city where the Bakufu (shogunate government) was located from 1185 to 1333. This city is facing the Pacific Ocean to the south; meanwhile, there are steep mountains to the north, east and west as a natural fortification in the samurai (warrior) era. To visit Kamakura, I took the Enoshima Electric Railway (Enoden) line from Enoshima station.

Enoden is a local tram line connecting Fujisawa and Kamakura stations. Its operating length is only 10 kilometers. The track is 1,067 millimeter-size single, and its electric system is 600 volts DC overhead. Trains are operated every 12 minutes during the daytime, but it's always crowded with sightseers, local people, and high school students.

Taking this opportunity, I'm going to introduce my favorite model on the Enoden line. It's the EMU 500 series, which was launched in 2006. Two sets, four cars in total, were built by Tokyu Sharyo. It's a two-car train with an articulated bogie. Its overall length is only 25.4 meters. The body is stainless steel. An IGBT-VVVF inverter (Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor - variable frequency drive) electric control system with induction motors are adopted to promote energy savings. The 500 series also has a regenerative brake system to save electric power. The rounded body design of the 500 series is definitely my cup of tea, but it's unfortunate that the 500 series is always coupled with the other models.

Set 502 of the EMU Enoden 500 series