Tōbu Urban Park Line | Funabashi - Ōmiya

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by Commiee, Oct 16, 2021.

  1. Commiee

    Commiee Well-Known Member

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    Tobu Railway 60000 series running on the Edogawa Bridge between Kawama and Minami-Sakurai (photo by MaedaAkihiko/CC BY-SA 4.0)


    Completing the replacement of the two routes I removed recently from my proposals, here is a suggestion that I mainly chose for the principal reason of it not being a JR company line. The absolute majority of proposals we have for Japan are for routes run by companies of the JR Group - which is understandable, given the reach of the group and its services across Japan. But there is also a great variety of lines run by non-JR companies, and having them among Japanese proposals is not only nice for variety, but also for the practical purpose of prospective developers having different options in which companies they would need to go to for licensing. This line also features a rolling stock that is different from many other suggested lines, which also improves variety.

    The route

    The Tōbu Urban Park Line - also known as the Tōbu Noda Line - is operated by Tōbu Railway, a company known for its extensive rail network in the Saitama Prefecture, along with other localities. The line serves several cities in the suburban surroundings of Tokyo. Serving 35 stations along this route, it connects the Ōmiya Station in Saitama City with Funabashi Station in Funabashi City. Located 62.7 km (39.0 mi) apart, these two stations act as the termini for the line. Geographically, the line works as a connection between the eastern part of the Tokyo suburban area with the Chiba Prefecture. In 2010 the line transported around 448,000 passengers daily.

    The first segments of the route - then called the Chiba Prefectural Railway Noda Line - opened in 1911 for steam trains. The line was later extended to Ōmiya, and the company operating it - known as Sōbu Railway starting in 1929 - merged with the Tobu Railway in 1944, leading to the name of the route being changed to Tobu Noda Line. Electrification of the route started in 1929 and completed in 1947. In 2014, the name of the line again changed, this time to Tōbu Urban Park Line.

    Running on the Japanese narrow-gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) tracks, it uses the 1,500 Volt DC electrification and a speed limit of 100 km/h (60 mph). The sections between Ōmiya-Kasukabe and Unga-Funabashi are double-tracked, with the remaining parts of the line single-tracked. Most services stop at all stations, however an express service was introduced in 2016 to skip stopping at seven of the stations. Time for navigating the route ranges between about 75-90 minutes, depending on the service.

    Notable sites and locations along the section include:
    • Outside the Ōmiya Station: Railway Museum in Saitama, displaying around 30 vehicles, scale dioramas and various educational material on the subject of rail
    • Outside the Kita-Ōmiya Station: Hikawa Shrine in Saitama, a 473 BC-established Shinto shrine in a park that also features a zoo and a museum
    • Outside the Higashi-Iwatsuki Station: remains of the Iwatsuki Castle, which was demolished in 1871
    • Outside the Takayanagi Station: Shimofusa Air Base of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force

    A cab ride video between Funabashi and Ōmiya on a 60000 series EMU


    A video showing trains on one of the crossings on the line in Saitama Prefecture

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    From left: the route on map; the route in a wider geographical context (via rome2rio.com); station map (via Wikipedia)

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    From left: Platforms 3 and 4 of the Ōmiya Station (photo by Mister0124/CC BY-SA 4.0); underground platforms at the Ōmiya Station (photo by MaedaAkihiko/CC BY-SA 4.0); platforms at the Funabashi Station (photo by LERK/CC BY-SA 4.0); a view at the Kasukabe Station (photo by MaedaAkihiko/CC BY-SA 4.0); Nagareyama-ōtakanomori Station platforms (photo by Nesnad/CC BY 4.0); platforms at the Shimizu-Koen Station (photo by DAJF/CC BY-SA 4.0)


    The rolling stock

    The list of trains below might not be completely up-to-date, as it is often the issue with sources on Japanese routes. I am using information from both English- and Japanese-language pages though, so the overall picture is accurate.
    Rolling stock on the line comprises the 60000 series, 10030 series and 8000 series EMUs. There is also the Urban Park Liner limited express service, which uses the 500 series EMUs. For general services, trains on the line are formed in six-car sets and use the Nanakōdai depot.


    Detailed looks at the 60000 series, including cab and interior

    Introduced on the line in June 2013, the 60000 series is produced by Hitachi since 2013, with over 100 vehicles constructed. They were added to the line to begin replacing the 8000 series. Made from aluminium alloy, these trains use enclosed motors to reduce environmental noise, and are equipped with Hitachi's IGBT-VVVF traction system. Operating on pneumatic brakes, the EMU also has the Tobu ATS safety system and can reach a top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph).


    A look at the 8000 series

    Constructed between 1963–1983 by Alna Kōki, Fuji Heavy Industries, Kisha Seizō, Nippon Sharyo and Tokyu Car Corporation, numbers of the 8000 series trains were scrapped in 2005 in the first phase, and were still being scrapped in the recent years in the second phase started in 2008. Of the 712 vehicles built, 242 were still in service in 2017. Made of steel, the EMU is equipped with the TM63 traction control and can reach a top speed of 100 km/h (60 mph).


    Exterior and interior shots of the 10030 series on the line

    The 10030 is a sub-variant of the Tobu 10000 series EMU, built by Alna Kōki, Fuji Heavy Industries and Tokyu Car Corporation between 1983–1995, with 486 vehicles produced. These trains were refurbished in 2007 to continue operating on lines served by them. The 10030 sub-variant was made as a lightweight model, and 176 of these were constructed. Made of stainless steel, these trains can reach a top speed of 110 km/h (70 mph).

    Limited express rolling stock

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    From left: A 500 series EMU (photo by MaedaAkihiko/CC BY-SA 4.0); cab controls of the 500 series (photo by PekePON/CC BY-SA 4.0); interior and seating arrangement in the 500 series EMU (photo by Toshinori baba/CC BY-SA 4.0)

    Operated on the Urban Park Liner limited express service, the 500 series connect Asakusa in Tokyo to Ōmiya/Nodashi. They are also used between Ōmiya and Unga on the Tōbu Urban Park Line. Built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries since 2016, 24 of these have been produced, with their interiors stylised by designer Ken Okuyama. Made of aluminium, they use the TM-16 traction system and TST-ATS safety system, and can reach 120 km/h (75 mph).

    Former rolling stock

    Former fleet of the line includes the 1000 series, 6300 series, 3200 series, 7800 series, 7300 series, 3000 series, 5400 series, 3050 series, 3070 series, 5000 series and 2080 series trains.

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    From left: Tobu 7800 series EMU (photo by VVVF/CC BY-SA 3.0); 7300 series EMU car MoHa 7329 preserved at Tobu Dobutsukoen (photo by まも/Public Domain); Tobu 3070 series EMU set 3574 (photo by Miyarin/CC BY-SA 3.0); Tobu 5070 series EMU set 5182 at the Ōmiya Station (photo by S-yamada/CC BY-SA 3.0); 2080 series six-car EMU set 2181 (photo by TKS 296/CC BY-SA 3.0)

    Sources:
    https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Tōbu_Urban_Park_Line
    https://www.wikiwand.com/ja/東武野田線
    https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Ōmiya_Station_(Saitama)
    https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Railway_Museum_(Saitama)
    https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Kita-Ōmiya_Station
    https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Iwatsuki_Castle
    https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Higashi-Iwatsuki_Station
    https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Hikawa_Shrine_(Saitama)
    https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Takayanagi_Station
    https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Shimofusa_Air_Base
    https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Tobu_60000_series
    https://railf.jp/news/2013/06/16/123500.html
    https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Tobu_10000_series
    https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Tobu_8000_series
    https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Tobu_500_series
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2021
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