History Of The Tokyo Subway System

Japan’s first subway

The history of the Tokyo subway system began in 1927 when the Tokyo Subway Company started service between Asakusa and Ueno stations.
It was designed with a high level of security for its time, incorporating a third-gauge electric system, a steel body for flame retardance, and a batter type ATS and a door engine to prevent rear-end collisions.

Later, the line was extended to Shimbashi Station and the Tokyo Rapid Transit began direct service between Shimbashi and Shibuya Stations, forming the current Ginza Line. The first subway car introduced was the 1000 class shown in the above photos (1) to (3).

From the Teito Rapid Transit Company to the Tokyo Subway

The Teito Rapid Transit Brigade was an organization for control and management purposes in order to carry out the Sino-Japanese War. After the war, most of the brigades were dismantled by order of GHQ, but the Teito Rapid Transit Brigade was recognized as not being operated for war purposes and was allowed to continue to operate as a special corporation funded by Japan National Railways (JNR) and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

Although a special corporation at the time, it was also a member of the Japan Association of Private Railways (JAPR), and thus a member of the major private railway companies.
In April 2004, the company was privatized and renamed Tokyo Subway Co.Subway Museum

Reference ●Train Type 300 (Marunouchi Line)

The 300 class was built in 1954, the year before the Marunouchi Line opened between Ikebukuro and Ochanomizu stations, and was a double-driven car. The carbody is 18 m long with three double doors on each side, and the width is 2,800 mm, which is larger than the Ginza Line’s 16 m long and 2,600 mm wide cars.

The design was licensed from New York City Subway and manufactured under a license agreement with WH for high-performance car systems such as main electric motors and brake systems. The 30 cars from No. 301 to No. 330 were in operation until 1995, when they were replaced by Series 02 cars.

Type 300 Car No. 301 (static preservation car)
Tokyo Subway Tokyo Subway Tokyo Subway Tokyo Subway
Driver’s cab Resistor device FS301 bogie Collector shoe

Reference ●Type2000 (Ginza Line)

Type 2000 was a standard type of car for the Ginza Line, of which 104 cars were manufactured between 1959 and 1963. 2000 type had only automatic air brakes with three-acting valves as main brake system and no electric generator (MG) as auxiliary power source, which caused momentary power failure on third-gauge sections and during power operation. In July 1993, the Ginza Line unified the Series 01 and replaced the batter type ATS with CS-ATC as the security device.
Series 2000 (1/20 scale model)
Reference ●Series 01 (Ginza Line)

Series 01 started commercial operation in January 1984, and 228 cars were manufactured until 1997.
The control system used was high-frequency divided armature chopper control from the first to the 36th trains, and IGBT VVVF inverter control from the 38th to the 38th trains.
The main electric motors are cage-type 3-phase AC induction motors (120kW).
Series 01 (1/20 scale model)
Series 5000 (Tozai Line)
Series 5000 appeared on the Tozai Line in 1964.
It was the first 20-meter class car in the Eidan subway (now Tokyo subway). 428 cars were manufactured until 1981, but it was withdrawn from the Tozai Line in 2007.
Series 5000 (1/20 scale model)
Series 9000 (Namboku Line)
The Series 9000 was introduced on November 29, 1991, when the Namboku Line partially opened.
Later, when the line was extended between Yotsuya and Komagome, it was converted to a 6-car formation.
In order to enhance the safety and stopping accuracy of one-man operation, ATO incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) is used to automatically operate the train from acceleration to station stop by simply pressing the “start” button.
Series 9000 (1/80 scale model)

●Subway Museum

Access: Tokyo Subway Tozai Line “Kasai”, cross the pedestrian crossing at Kannana-dori and go in front of the museum.
Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Admission until 4:30 p.m.)
Closed: Mondays (or the following Tuesday if Monday is a national holiday), year-end and New Year holidays (12/30 – 1/3)
Admission fee: Adults 210 yen, Children 100 yen (4 years old and up to junior high school students)
The photos on this page were taken at the museum.
Entrance of the Subway Museum

Ayase Railroad Depot

The Ayase Railcar Depot is the collective name for the Ayase Inspection District and the Ayase Plant, and has the largest area (141,810 m2) of any Tokyo Subway railcar depot.
The Ayase Inspection District was established in December 1969, and has a car holding capacity of 273 cars, with cars from the Chiyoda Line, Yurakucho Line, Fukutoshin Line, Namboku Line, and Saitama Rapid Transit coming into the district. The Ayase Plant has an annual inspection capacity of approximately 1,500 cars. In December 1979, the Chiyoda Line Kita Ayase Branch Line was opened between Ayase and Kita Ayase Station by converting the line leading to the depot into a passenger line.

Tokyo Metro Smile Festa Railroad Base Event 2010 in AYASE] (November 28, 2010)
The event, which was open to the public at the Ayase Rail Yard, included a train photo session (Series 16000, 6000, 06, and Odakyu Type 4000), an exhibition of Hibiya Line Series 3000 trains and in-train tours, a train lifting demonstration (Series 6000), a model train driving experience, the Metro Plarail corner, electric circuit operation experience, door opening and closing experience, and various The exhibition was full of attractions such as a model train driving experience, Metro/Plarail corner, electric circuit operation experience, door opening/closing experience, and various goods sales.

Nakano rail yard

The Tokyo Subway Nakano rail yard was established in 1961 as an inspection area and a factory.

In 1988, the Nakano factory was completely renovated after the Koishikawa Sub-base was abolished and it became responsible for the inspection of important parts and general inspection of Ginza and Marunouchi line rolling stock. The Nakano Inspection Area covers an area of 59,248 square meters, and has 336 Series 02 (Marunouchi Line) cars (53 six-car trains for the main line and 6 three-car trains for branch lines). It is located near Nakano-Fujimicho Station on the Marunouchi Line.

Since the Ginza and Marunouchi Lines cannot be connected to other lines, new cars are basically transported from the manufacturer to Kawasaki Freight Station by Class A transport, and from there to the Nakano Inspection District by road transport using trailer trucks. All Series 01 cars for the Ginza Line and Series 02 cars for the Marunouchi Line were brought in at the main inspection area. The cars transferred to the Argentine Subway (Type 300, Type 500, and Type 900) were also brought in from the main inspection area and transported by trailer truck to the Kawasaki Wharf.

Tokyo Subway Lines

Lines in the order of opening Distance between sections Intersection
Ginza Line Asakusa – Shibuya 14.3Km
Marunouchi Line Ikebukuro – Ogikubo Nakanosakaue – Honancho 27.4Km
Hibiya Line Kitasenju – Nakameguro 20.3Km Tokyu Corporation “Toyoko Line” Tobu Corporation “Isesaki Line
Tozai Line Nakano – Nishi Funabashi 30.8Km – JR East “Chuo Loop Line”, Toyo Rapid Railway “Toyo Rapid Line
Chiyoda Line Ayase – Yoyogi Uehara Ayase – Kita Ayase 24.0Km Odakyu Electric Railway “Odawara Line”, “Tama Line”, East Japan Railway “Joban Loose Line
Yurakucho Line Wako-shi to Shinkiba 28.3Km Tobu Railway “Tojo Line”, Seibu Railway “Ikebukuro Line”, Tokyu Corporation “Toyoko Line” (connection planned)
Hanzomon Line Shibuya – Oshiage 16.8Km Tokyu Corporation “Denentoshi Line”, Tobu Corporation “Isesaki Line”, “Nikko Line
Namboku Line Meguro – Akabane Iwafuchi 21.3Km Tokyu Corporation “Meguro Line”, Saitama Rapid Transit “Saitama Rapid Transit Line
Fukutoshin Line Wako-shi – Shibuya 20.2Km Tobu Railway “Tojo Line”, Seibu Railway “Ikebukuro Line”, Tokyu Corporation “Toyoko Line” (connection planned)

History of railroad accidents

Fire accident at Kamiyacho Station on the Hibiya Line of the Eidan Subway [January 27, 1968].

A fire broke out near Kamiyacho Station on the Hibiya Line of the Eidan Subway (now Tokyo Metro). The fire started near the main resistor of the third car of a six-car Tobu Railway 2000 Series train, which was on its way to the station. Fortunately, no one was killed because the train was being sent to the side track at Kasumigaseki Station after it was found at Roppongi Station that the main resistor was red-hot and smoke was emitting from the area. Eleven crew members and firefighters were injured.
The car that was destroyed by the fire was returned to service after all of its bodywork and equipment had been rebuilt.

The cause of the fire was believed to be overheating of the main resistor due to overcurrent, which started a fire from a plastic conduit on top, causing the fire to spread.
About an hour before this accident, this train was in operation bound for Nakameguro when a trouble occurred in the advancing stage of the main controller. At that time, the second unit including the third car was opened, but the main controller of the third car remained stopped in the middle of advancing the parallel stage, and when the train was turning back to Kita-Kasukabe, even if the driver operated the converter ( During the turnaround operation to Kita-Kasuga, even if the driver operated the converter (because the unit was open), the polarity did not change, and the main resistors overheated because the generator brake was always applied while the train was running.
This accident, in which one of the cars that fell under the A-A category, the highest rank in fire resistance standards at the time, burned down, triggered a review of the use of flammable car parts, and the Ministry of Transport (now the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism), taking the seriousness of the situation seriously, conducted a drastic review that included actual combustion experiments in the Nakano Works of the Eidan, and in May 1969 (Showa 44), the conventional fireproofing standards were revised to include the use of flammable car parts. In May 1969, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (now the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism) issued a new fire resistance standard (the so-called A-A standard) by issuing a notice entitled “Measures against Fire Accidents on Trains,” which replaced the previous notice and strengthened fire accident prevention measures. These standards are strict even by global standards, and have contributed to the prevention of railroad fire accidents since then.
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■Subway Hibiya Line Hiroo Station Car Fire Accident[ November 21, 1972]

A B871S train (8 cars of 3000 Series, all electric cars) on the Hibiya Line of the Teito Rapid Transit Company (now Tokyo Subway) lost power in the train due to an overload relay 600m before Hiroo Station, and even after restoration, the controller did not respond to notching operations, making it impossible to run under power.
The train stopped operation at Hiroo Station, and passengers were disembarked. A subsequent inspection found no abnormalities in the train.
However, after hearing a passenger report that there was a banging sound coming from under the floor of the fourth car, and that some smoke was coming from under the floor, the crew and station staff decided to move the train to the side track at Hiroo Station, lower the pantograph, and inspect the train again.
During the inspection, smoke was found coming from the disconnect device in car 5 (4th car from the front in operation). We attempted to extinguish the smoke with a powder fire extinguisher, but during the operation, the smoke became more intense with an explosion sound, and we had to wait. The fire department was notified because the smoke did not subside. 3539’s current breaker was damaged by fire and some under-floor equipment such as a high-voltage tuna box was damaged by fire, but no casualties were reported.

Overturned train accident on Tozai Line of Eidan Subway [February 28, 1978, around 9:34 p.m.]

A rapid train (10-car Eidan Series 5000) bound for Nakano on the Tozai Line of the Eidan Subway overturned on the Arakawa Nakagawa Bridge between Minamisunamachi and Kasai Stations (Nishi-Kasai Station had not yet opened at the time) when the rear two cars were hit by a tornado gust of wind and overturned on the tracks bound for Nishi Funabashi.
One car derailed and 23 people were injured. At the time, the Eidan had installed anemometers at key locations on the ground, and a buzzer would sound when the wind speed exceeded 15 m/s, indicating cautionary operation, 20 m/s indicating that train operation would be suspended, and 25 m/s indicating that operation would be suspended.
Although an anemometer was installed 800m from the site, the warning buzzer did not sound at the Otemachi Transportation Control Center.
At the time, the weather conditions were extremely unstable, with low pressure 988mb around 40°N, 137°E, and one discontinuous line passing over Tokyo at 9 pm.
The tornado gusts caused damage to eight private homes and blew off the roofs of 60 houses in Toda, Kawasaki City at around 9:20 p.m. The damage area was a strip 300 to 500 m wide, 30 km from Kawasaki City to the east of Ichikawa City, and was concentrated over a 25 to 30 minute period.
The tornado gusts were 80-100 km/h and are believed to have traveled directly northeast or east-northeast. The weight of the stainless steel cars was an issue, but subsequent investigation concluded that the probability of a tornado striking a moving train was 1 in 50 to 100 years, and that it was a force majeure event. The two derailed and overturned cars were dismantled on site due to the difficulty of restoring them on the bridge, and two new cars with the same numbers were built to replace them.

Nakameguro Station Pull-up Line Collision [June 16, 1992, 8:50 a.m.] (Hibiya Line)

A Tobu 2000 Series train was entering the station and ran into the third car from the rear of an exiting Eidan 3000 Series train on the pull-up line point at Nakameguro Station. There was no damage to passengers due to the collision on the pull-up line.
The direct cause was that the driver on the Tobu 2000 Series train overlooked the second changeover signal, but the train had previously been controlled by the first changeover signal at the target position of the main line stop. However, since ATC protection was not provided on the line, there was only 10 m to the limit of obstruction, and there was no room to stop the train if it accidentally ran too fast.

This was not an accident under the ATC installation, although the line was in a section where ATC had been installed on the main line. This is the second accident at Nakameguro Station since 1965, when a bogie frame was damaged.
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Accident of derailment at Saginuma garage of Hanzomon Line of Eidan Subway [October and December 1992].

A series of derailment accidents occurred in the Saginuma garage of the Hanzomon Line of the Eidan Subway. Concerns about lightweight car bodies and bolster-less bogies were raised, and an internal investigation committee was formed jointly by the track section and the inspection section to study the issue. This is why the “Hibiya Line Nakameguro accident” could not be prevented. The difference in weight between the bogie and the diagonal line increases the derailment coefficient in a lightweight car body, so wheel-weight balance adjustment is required to match the weight reduction.
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Hibiya Line derailment and collision [March 8, 2000, 9:01 a.m.].

This was a train derailment accident that occurred on the Hibiya Line of the Teito Rapid Transit Company (Teito Subway – now Tokyo Subway), resulting in five deaths and 64 injuries. The last car (03-802) of the Hibiya Line train, an Eidan 03 series train from Kita-Senju to Kikuna (direct connection to Tokyu Toyoko Line), derailed after climbing a steep curve in front of Nakameguro Station.
When it ran out of the side of the equipment line, it collided with an oncoming Takenotsuka-bound train (Tobu 20050 Series, Moha 23852-26852), which was going directly from Nakameguro to Tobu Line, and wrecked the train. The accident was caused by a combination of factors, including a weight imbalance (wheel-weight ratio) of 30% on the eight wheels of one car that was left unattended, the absence of guardrails on a sharp curve with a radius of 160 m, the concentration of many trains, and the fact that it was after the morning rush hour, when the amount of oil on the rails increases. The accident is believed to have been caused by a combination of factors.