Photos: Wikimedia Commons

JAPAN: Tokyo Metro put its first Series 17000 EMUs into revenue service on its 1 067 mm gauge Yurakucho and Fukutoshin lines on February 21, with minimum publicity as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The operator has ordered six 10-car trains and 15 eight-car sets from Hitachi to replace its oldest Series 7000 EMUs which have been in operation for around 45 years. Three trains had been delivered to Wakoshi depot for test running before the end of 2020, and all are due to be in traffic by late 2022.

The Series 17000 vehicles are 20 m long and 2 800 mm wide, with a floor height of 1 140 mm above rail top, 60 mm lower than the older trains they replace. Each car offers four pairs of entrance doors per side. As well as VVVF and SIC traction equipment supplied by Mitsubishi, the new trains are fitted with a remote monitoring and diagnostic system allowing the vehicle status to monitored from the control centre.


The interior passenger fittings are finished in the line colours of the two routes. The accommodation features a seat surface which exudes deodorant, in order to eliminate bacteria and viruses, as well as redesigned grab rails near the entrance doors to facilitate boarding and alighting by passengers with prams or using wheelchairs. Dedicated wheelchair spaces are provided, while internal CCTV is also fitted. The trains garnered a 2020 Good Design Award from the Japan Institute of Design Promotion.

The 28·3 km, 24-station Yurakucho Line which opened in 1974 runs from Wakoshi through Tokyo to Shin-Kiba, while the 20·2 km, 16-station, Fukutoshin Line started life in 1994 as the Yurakucho New before being renamed in 2008. Both routes are electrified at 1·5 kV DC. Tokyo Metro operates through services from the Yurakucho Line in conjunction with the Tobu and Seibu railways; in future the Series 17000 EMUs are expected to be seen on the Tobu Tojo, Seibu Yurakucho, Seibu Ikebukuro, Tokyu Toyoko and Minatomirai lines.