Friday, January 18, 2013
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.
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.