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The Toyoko-sen (sen means "line") is Tokyu's most important line, running from Shibuya (one of the big subcenters of Tokyo) to Sakuragicho in Yokohama. It was opened between Tamagawaen and Yokohama (15.1 km) in 1926 and between Tamagawaen and Shibuya (9.1 km) in 1927, and was extended to Takashimacho in 1928 (0.8 km) and to the terminus Sakuragicho in 1932 (1.3 km). The line is 26.3 km long, has 23 stations, and local trains take 45 min to cover the whole line, kyuko-(express ) trains 35 min. 1.1 million passengers travel on the Toyoko-sen each day. It is not only a line for commuters, but also a non-JR-connection between Tokyo and Yokohama, and a very cheap one. If you want to go from Shinjuku to Yokohama all the way by JR via Shinagawa, you have to pay 530 Yen. If you take the Yamanote-sen from Shinjuku to Shibuya and then change to the Toyoko-sen, you only have to pay 410 Yen (150 Yen JR plus 260 Yen Tokyu).
8-car-trains are are allocated to the Toyoko-sen, and all trains run over the whole line (except for those coming from or going to the depot at Motosumiyoshi). The service pattern during daytime is two local trains followed by one express train every 15 minutes. But the expresses on this line are so slow because of the many stops, that one of the local trains is not being overtaken, the other one is wating for the express at Hiyoshi. In the rush-hour there is an express every 10 minutes with 3 local trains in between, and then every local train is overtaken at least once. Stations for overtaking are Kikuna, Hiyoshi and Jiyugaoka. Besides these trains, about every third subway train from the Hibiya-sen, that ends at Naka-Meguro, goes on over the Toyoko-sen to Hiyoshi (or to Kikuna during the rush hour). While the normal Tokyu-cars on this line are 20 meters long and have 4 doors, the cars for the Hibiya-sen are slightly different; they are only 18 meters long and have 3 doors. Tokyu's 1000 series and Eidan's 05 series (some of which have 5-door-cars at both ends of the train) can be seen on this service.
Shin-Tamagawa-sen and Denentoshi-sen:
Shin-Tamagawa-sen and Denentoshi-sen are the two newest Tokyu-lines, but they have become the second and third most important lines now. The Shin-Tamagawa-sen starts from Shibuya, but from the underground station, quite far away from the terminus of the Toyoko-sen. The reason for this is, that all trains from the subway Hanzomon-sen continue on the Shin-Tamagawa-sen. This line is 9.4 km long with 7 stations and was opened in 1977, 640,000 passengers travel on it every day now. It replaced a tramway on this route that was closed in 1969, and is now running completely underground. At Futako-Tamagawaen, again all trains continue onto the next line, the Den entoshi-sen. While the part between Futako-Tamagawaen and Musashi-Mizonokuchi had already opened in 1943 as part of the Oimachi-sen (see below), the Den entoshi-sen was built in the 1960s as the catalyst for the development of the new residential area around this line, to be developed by Tokyu. It was opened to Nagatsuta in 1966 with a length of 14.2 km and the next opening dates were Nagatsuta - Tsukushino (2.1 km) in 1968, Tsukushino - Suzukakedai (1.2 km) in 1972, Suzukakedai - Tsukimino (2.3 km) in 1976 and Tsukimino - Chuo-Rinkan (1.2 km) in 1983. Today the Den entoshi-sen is 22.1 km long and 718,000 passengers use the 20 stations every day.
As mentioned above, Hanzomon-sen, Shin-Tamagawa-sen and Den entoshi-sen form just one line because all trains operate over all three lines. Local trains from Shibuya to Chuo-Rinkan take 51 min, faster trains run only as far as Nagatsuta (local trains take 40 min to get there): rapid trains (kaisoku) make 11 stops and take 32 min, and express trains (kyuko) make 7 stops, 30 min. The daytime service-pattern is 8 local and 2 rapid trains per hour, but before 9 a.m. and after 4 p.m. there are express trains but no rapid trains. In the busiest hours of the morning, there are up to 26 trains, of which 10 are expresses. All trains have 10 cars, and again you can see Eidan subway cars together with Tokyu cars, this time with the Eidan 8000 series for the Hanzomon-sen.
The Kodomo-no-kuni-sen is just a 3.4 km long branch line from Nagatsuta (on the Denentoshi-sen) to Kodomo-no-kuni ("Children s land"), a big amusement-park. The line opened in 1967 at the same time as the park, which is operated by Tokyu. 1400 passengers use it per day, and the trains (2 cars long and operated by one man only) run between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.
The Oimachi-sen was opened between Oimachi, where it connects with JR s Keihin-Tohoku-sen, and Ookayama (4.8 km) in 1927, and extended further 5.6 km to Futako-Tamagawaen in 1929. The extension from there to Mizonokuchi (opened in 1943), where it meets JR's Nambu-sen (JR's station is called Musashi-Mizonokuchi), is now part of the Den entoshi-sen. Today the Oimachi-sen is 10.4 km long, has 15 stations and 350,000 passengers per day. Only local trains operate on this line, which takes 21 min. There are 18 trains in the rush hour and 8 trains per hour during daytime off-peak hours. All trains have 5 cars.
The Mekama-sen was opened in 1923. It runs 13.1 km from Meguro (on JR s Yamanote-sen) to Kamata (JR s Keihin-Tohoku-sen) and has 15 stations, and carries 302,000 passengers per day. Here too, only local trains operate, 4 cars each, and take 26 min to cover the whole line. 18 trains run in the rush hour, but some of them only between Okusawa and Meguro, and 8 trains per hour run along the whole line over the day.
The Ikegami-sen is Tokyu s oldest railway line, opened between Ikegami and Kamata (on JR's Keihin-Tohoku-sen) in 1922, and exteded to Gotanda in 1928, where it connects with the Yamanote-sen. It is shorter than the Mekama-sen, only 10.9 km, but also has 15 stations, that are sometimes no further away than 600 meters from each other. The Ikegami-sen has some small underground sections nowadays, so that Tokyu can make use of the new space created above ground by the removal of track. There are Tokyu stores over some of the underground stations, e.g. at Nagahara. Only 3-car local trains operate on this line taking a total of 23 min to cover the whole line, which 223,000 passengers use per day. In the rush hour there are 21 trains, but every second train runs only between Gotanda and Yukigaya-Otsuka. During the day there are 8 trains per hour, serving the whole line.
Gauge and Electrification:
All the above mentioned lines are 1067 mm gauge and have been classified as "railways" since the beginning. Their voltage was originally 600 VDC, but this was converted to 1500 VDC after the war: Toyoko-sen in 1952, Mekama-sen in 1955, Ikegami-sen in 1957 and Oimachi-sen in 1958. Shin-Tamagawa-sen and Den entoshi-sen have been using 1500 V from the beginning.
The Setagaya-sen is the last survivor of the Tokyu tramway network, that consited of three lines until 1969. Today, only the section from Sangenjaya (at the Shin-Tamagawa-sen) to Shimotakaido (connection to the Keio-sen), which is 5.1 km long and has 10 stations, and is served in 16 min. The Setagaya-sen is different from the rest of the network in many ways: It is not included in the Tokyu fare system, and so there is a flat fare of 130 Yen. The trains still use 600 V and their gauge is 1372 mm, as on all trams in Tokyo. 53,000 passengers use the line every day. It is in a good condition, compared to many other trams in Japan, but as trams in Japan are not allowed to run more than 40 km/h, not much can be done to make the trams faster. There is no rail connection to any other railway. The stations have low platforms, so that you have to climb up into the cars. All cars are coupled to two-car-trains, and the drivers and conductors collect the fare when you get into the car.
The Tamagawa Denki Tetsudo opened the first tramway in today's Tokyu area in 1907: The line between Shibuya and Futako-Tamagawaen was 9.1 km long and took exactly the same route, that the Shin-Tamagawa-sen (shin means new) uses today. The gauge of this line was 1067 mm, but to transport gravel from the Tama River into the city, it was regauged in 1920 to 1372 mm to enable through-running with the city-owned tram system. This connection was closed in 1938 with the opening of the subway Ginza-sen, but the gauge of 1372 mm remained the standard size for the trams. Three branch lines were opened later: in 1924 from Futako-Tamagawaen northwards to Kinuta-Honmura (Kinuta-sen, 2.2 km, all single track), in 1925 from Sangenjaya to Shimo-Takaido (today s Setagaya-sen, 5.1 km), and in 1927 from Futako-Tamagawaen to Mizonokuchi. The line to Mizonokuchi was regauged to 1067 mm and classified as a "railway" in 1943 and became part of the Oimachi-sen. The Tamagawa-sen and the Kinuta-sen closed in 1969, and the former being replaced by the Shin-Tamagawa-sen in 1977, the latter being served by buses now.