Saturday, June 29, 2019   6:28 AM

BR485 / BR885

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


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   2:51 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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Wednesday, January 16, 2013  11:11 PM

All-green Yamanote Line train

Since the introduction of aluminium-bodied 205 series trains on the Yamanote Line, full-body "paint jobs" have become a bit of a rarity. A couple of years back, one of the E231 trains was rolled out in an all-brown livery to celebrate the line's 100th aniversary. Most recently, another E231 set has been wrapped in the line's traditional green colour (ウグイス色, uguisu-iro - translated as "Japanese Bush Warbler green") to mark the 50th anniversary of the line colour's introduction.

Youtube user ISO8 captured this train set running northwards from Shinagawa station:

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Sunday, January 6, 2013   1:08 AM

Article on Shinkansen train cleaners

One of the more fascinating, if less well known aspects of Shinkansen travel, is watching the cleaners at Tokyo station clean and make ready an entire 16-car train for turnaround in just a few minutes. The Japan Times' excellent Yen For Living blog has an interesting article on these cleaners (together with a bit of postulation on the role of cleaners in Japan compared to other societies).

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Saturday, December 25, 2010   7:55 AM

Picture: Chuo Line at Iidabashi Station

Chuo Line Train, Iiidabashi Station

Chuo Line train passing Iidabashi Station towards Yotsuya and Shinjuku catching the evening sun alongside part of the old moat of the former Edo Castle.

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