Sunday, January 19, 2020   2:17 AM

Railways in Berlin in the late 20th century

An ad-hoc collection of links with information and pictures of Berlin's railways in the late 20th century.

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Saturday, January 4, 2020   5:01 AM

Chuo Line platform extension work, January 2020

As part of the project to add two double-decker cars to Chuo Line E233 sets by 2023, lengthening them from 10 to 12 cars, most Chuo Line platforms will need to be extended.

Until very recently however there was very little sign of any construction activity. Most recently (2020-01-04) I noticed that the platform at Asagaya is being extended on the western end:

Asagaya Station Chuo Line platform extension, 2020-01-04
Asagaya Station Chuo Line platform extension, 2020-01-04

Other than that, currently I'm only aware of work at:

  • Kunitachi (platform extension work)
  • Nakano, where an extensive construction site has appeared at the western end of the station
  • Ochanomizu (ongoing comprehensive rebuild)
  • Ogikubo, where a small turnback siding on the west end of the platform has been resited somewhat further to the west, to create space usable as a platform

By the looks of it, most stations east of Tachikawa (other than maybe Ochanomizu and Nakano) have sufficient space at either end of their Chuo Line platforms for extensions without significant infrastructure work other than relocating various lineside equipment etc. currently occupying the space.

Stations which are limited express stops (Tokyo, Shinjuku, Tachikawa, Hachioji, Takao etc.) will presumably not require any major work as these are already equipped to handle 12 car expresses (Azusa etc.).


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Tuesday, July 30, 2019  10:09 PM

Steam locomotives on static display in the Tokyo area

An ad-hoc, incomplete list of preserved steam locomotives on static display within the 23 wards area of Tokyo:


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Saturday, June 29, 2019  12:28 AM

BR485 / BR885

Flickr album with a bunch of pictures: DB 485 005 bis 885 709

Model by Roco:

Roco ET85 (BR 485)

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013  12:54 AM

Stairlift at Meiji Jingumae Station

I never realised before, but there's an underground passageway which traverses across the top of the Chiyoda Line platforms at Meiji Jingumae station, leading from the entrance at the top end of Omotesando close to JR Harajuku Station all the way down to the crossing with Meiji-dori and the new Fukutoshin Line concourse. Omotesando runs downhill, so the passageway - which has presumably been there since the Chiyoda Line part of the station was built - has quite a deep stairway roughly halfway along, of which half has been crudely converted into this "stairlift":

Meiji Jingumae Station - stairlift 

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Sunday, January 27, 2013   6:05 PM

Jinbocho Station - mystery tunnel

The other day I got the Hanzomon Line from Jinbocho Station, possibly for the first time ever, and my first impression was how dirty the Hanzomon Line platform is, at least compared to other stations in Tokyo. The picture below gives an idea, though it doesn't really catch the dusty atmosphere.

Jinbocho Station on the Hanzomon Line

The above-ground station entrances are a bit dingy too. On the other hand I've used the Toei Shinjuku Line from there a few times in the past and don't recall it being unusually dirty.

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Friday, January 18, 2013   1:51 AM

Odakyu "Romancecar" on the Chiyoda Line

One of the things I like about the railway system in Japan is the variety of through-running operations between different companies. On the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line you can see trains not only from Tokyo Metro but also JR's Joban Line and the Odakyu line. A couple of years ago the Chiyoda Line became the first underground line with its own express train service - Odakyu MSE 60000 series trains, specially designed for tunnel operations, operate a variant of the popular "Romancecar" service between Tokyo and the popular Hakone resort area. There are up to four services a day, with weekday operation biased towards "Homeliner" evening commuter express services, and weekends more for tourism. The current timetable can be viewed online here (Japanese only).

This is the first time I've been able to snap one of these trains - apologies for the blurry image.

Odakyu MSE Romancecar express on the Chiyoda Line

It passed through the station at a stately pace - the Chiyoda line wasn't designed with fast trains in mind and doesn't have any places for trains to overtake, so presumably the Romancecars have to trundle along sandwiched inbetween normal services. Still, it provides a convenient way to access the Odakyu route from the busy Otemachi / Marunouchi / Tokyo station areas without trailing across town to Shinjuku, and each time I've seen the train it's been fairly full.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013  11:36 PM

An unusual sight - snow on the train roof

This is something you don't see often in Tokyo: a train with snow on the roof.

Sobu Line train with snow on the roof

Unusually it snowed heavily on Monday, and has been cold since, meaning much of the snow is still lying where it fell. This Chūō-Sōbu Line train E231 series (I think; it could be a 209-500 series) was evidently stabled in the open air when the snow came down and has remained on the roof since. (Apologies for the poor picture quality, by the time I'd noticed and got my camera out the train was already in motion).

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