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Yokohama Municipal Subway Blue Line

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The Blue Line is a rapid transit line of the Yokohama Municipal Subway, running from Shonandai in Fujisawa to Azamino in Aoba-ku, Yokohama. The official name of the Blue Line is "Yokohama Municipal Subway Line 1" and "Yokohama Municipal Subway Line 3"; Line 1 runs from Kannai to Shonandai while Line 3 runs from Kannai to Azamino. However, all trains passing through Kannai directly operate between Line 1 and Line 3.

Yokohama Municipal Subway Blue Line
Yokohama Municipal Subway Blue Line symbol.svg
Yokohama city subway 3000R rapid azamino.JPG
A 3000R series train on the Blue Line in July 2015
Native name横浜市営地下鉄ブルーライン
TypeRapid transit
SystemYokohama Municipal Subway
LocaleYokohama, Fujisawa
ServicesLine 1 (Shonandai–Kannai)
Line 3 (Kannai–Azamino)
Daily ridership513,897 (FY2014)
Line number1 & 3
OpenedDecember 16, 1972
OwnerYokohama Municipal Subway
Depot(s)Kaminagaya, Nippa
Rolling stock3000 series
Line length40.4 km (25.1 mi) (Line 1: 19.7 km, Line 3: 20.7 km)
Number of tracks2
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Electrification750 V DC, third rail
Operating speed80 km/h (50 mph)

Due to the opening of Line 4 (known as the Green Line), the line has been marketed as the "Blue Line" since 30 March 2008; its origin came from "Blue" being a symbol of Yokohama due to its color (it has been used in vehicles and signs from the time of opening, since it is recognized as the image color of the route). The line color is blue and the line symbol used in the station numbering is B.


The Blue Line consists of two routes (known as Line 1 and Line 3). Line 1 starts from Shonandai in Fujisawa, runs through Totsuka, Kamiooka, and Isezakichōjamachi, and terminates at Kannai in central Yokohama. Since Sakuragicho is located in the middle of the town and the Minatomirai district, the line virtually traverses the city center of Yokohama. Line 3 runs from Kannai to Azamino in Aoba-ku, traversing through Yokohama Station, Kanagawa-ku, Shin-Yokohama, and Kohoku New Town. Based on the locations of the line's termini (Shonandai in the southwest, Azamino in the northwest), the line forms a backwards "C" shape. It can also be said that the line provides a feeder route to other private railway lines that traverse Yokohama and its suburbs.

The Blue Line is one of three heavy-rail subway lines in the Kanto region to use standard gauge track and a third rail electrification system (the others being the Ginza and Marunouchi lines of Tokyo Metro). As of 2018, this is the most recent subway line with third rail electrification to be constructed in Japan. Beginning in 1972, some private railroads in Tokyo began operating automatic ticket gates (those gates were introduced in 12 stations of the Musashino Line in 1973; six years later, the Hokusō Line began testing them). The introduction of a full-fledged automatic ticket gate in the metropolitan area happened in 1990 after the privatization of JNR. Installation of platform screen doors in all stations was completed in the 2000s.

Route dataEdit

  • Distance: 40.4 km/25.1 mi
    • Line 1: Kannai Station-Shonandai station 19.7 km/12.2 mi
    • Line 3: Kannai Station-Azamino station 20.7 km/12.9 mi
  • Track gauge: 1,435 mm
  • Number of stations (including terminal station): 32 (Line 1: 17; Line 3: 16), including Kannai
  • Double track section: Whole line
  • Electrified section: Whole line (DC 750 V third rail)
  • At-grade/elevated sections: at Kaminagaya; from Azamino to Kita-Shin-Yokohama (expect Azamino and Nakagawa)
  • Signalling: Cab signalling
  • Operating speed: 80 km/h
  • Train length: 6 cars
  • Vehicle depots: Kaminagaya, Nippa


During the daytime, there is one rapid train between Shonandai and Azamino every 30 minutes. In addition, there are two local trains between Shonandai and Azamino, one local train between Odoriba and Azamino station, and one local train between Shonandai and Nippa in between each rapid train. All-night operation was carried out for the first time for New Year's Eve in December 2008. Train services operate every 5 minutes.

Rapid serviceEdit

Rapid services do not stop at all stations between Totsuka and Nippa. They stop at Kaminagaya, Kamiooka, Kannai, Sakuragicho, Yokohama, and Shin-Yokohama, which are the line's main transfer points to other railway services. Between Shonandai and Azamino every 30 minutes.

Although rapid operations had not been carried out for more than 40 years since the line's 1972 opening, it became clear that the bureau was considering the introduction of rapid services from 2014. Rapid services began operating on July 18, 2015.


During the daytime, there are two trains that direct the Shonandai station-Azamino station between 30 minutes, Odoriba Station-Azamino station and the Shonandai station-Nippa station, each of which is operated by one.

About the interval train to the Odoriba station is usually the meeting of the fast at the Kaminagaya station, usually at the Nippa station departure and take the rapid connection with the Nippa station of the first train terminal. There are a lot of Azamino trains which depart from the Nippa station and Kaminagaya station with the garage mainly in the early morning and midnight although the whole train becomes usual time zone excluding daytime, and many trains drive directly between the station-Shonandai station.

Moreover, there is one connected to Shonandai at the Nagatani station on the end of the terminal by the train which goes to Nagatani on a weekday, six on a Saturday holiday, and the Azamino departure. Although Blue is mainly used in the direction curtain display of the vehicle and the guidance of the station campus, it is not necessarily united in case of green.

One-man operationEdit

One-man operation has been carried out since December 15, 2007. As a result, a set of platform screen doors was installed at each station beginning in February 2007, and the operation started from April of that year.

Prior to this, automatic operation by ATO began from January 20, 2007. Before starting the one-man operation, door opening and closing is performed by a button on the cab that is pushed by the operator rather than the conductor.

The PSDs were originally scheduled to start operations in February 2007, but the adjustment was delayed; they began operating at Azamino on April 7 and started to be used at all stations on September 15, 2007. At the beginning of the PSD operation, the conductor was to signal the departure without blowing the whistle at the time of departure; the departure sign sound is maintained for the one-man operation and began to be used sequentially in each station from around November of the same year.

Station listEdit

  • Local trains stop at all stations.
  • Rapid trains stop at stations marked "●" and pass those marked "|".
Line No. Station Japanese Distance (km) Rapid Transfers Location Country represented
(during 2002 WC)
3 B32 Azamino あざみ野 0.0 DT Tokyu Den-en-toshi Line Aoba-ku, Yokohama   Tunisia
B31 Nakagawa 中川 1.5 Tsuzuki-ku, Yokohama   Russia
B30 Center Kita センター北 3.1   Green Line (Yokohama Municipal Subway Line 4)   Belgium
B29 Center Minami センター南 4.0   Green Line (Yokohama Municipal Subway Line 4)   Japan
B28 Nakamachidai 仲町台 6.3   Mexico
B27 Nippa 新羽 8.6 Kōhoku-ku, Yokohama   Croatia
B26 Kita Shin-Yokohama 北新横浜 9.6 |   Ecuador
B25 Shin-Yokohama 新横浜 10.9   Italy
B24 Kishine-kōen 岸根公園 12.5 |   Sweden
B23 Katakurachō 片倉町 13.7 | Kanagawa-ku, Yokohama   England
B22 Mitsuzawa-kamichō 三ツ沢上町 15.6 |   Nigeria
B21 Mitsuzawa-shimochō 三ツ沢下町 16.5 |   Argentina
B20 Yokohama 横浜 17.9 Nishi-ku, Yokohama   Cameroon
B19 Takashimachō 高島町 18.8 |   Republic of Ireland
B18 Sakuragichō 桜木町 20.0 JK Negishi Line Naka-ku, Yokohama   Saudi Arabia
B17 Kannai 関内 20.7 JK Negishi Line   Germany
B16 Isezakichōjamachi 伊勢佐木長者町 21.4 |   Portugal
B15 Bandōbashi 阪東橋 22.3 | Minami-ku, Yokohama   United States
B14 Yoshinochō 吉野町 22.8 |   Poland
B13 Maita 蒔田 23.9 |   South Korea
B12 Gumyōji 弘明寺 25.0 |   Costa Rica
B11 Kami-Ōoka 上大岡 26.6 KK Keikyu Main Line Kōnan-ku, Yokohama   China PR
B10 Kōnan-Chūō 港南中央 27.7 |   Turkey
B09 Kaminagaya 上永谷 29.4   Brazil
B08 Shimonagaya 下永谷 30.7 |   South Africa
B07 Maioka 舞岡 31.4 | Totsuka-ku, Yokohama   Paraguay
B06 Totsuka 戸塚 33.0   Slovenia
B05 Odoriba 踊場 34.7 Izumi-ku, Yokohama   Spain
B04 Nakada 中田 35.6   Denmark
B03 Tateba 立場 36.7   Uruguay
B02 Shimoiida 下飯田 38.8   Senegal
B01 Shōnandai 湘南台 40.4 Fujisawa, Kanagawa   France

Rolling stockEdit

As of 1 April 2016, the line is operated using a fleet of 37 six-car 3000 series EMUs based at Kaminagaya Depot.[1] The fleet is subdivided into eight first-batch 3000A series sets (numbered 24 to 31), seven-second-batch 3000N series sets (numbered 32 to 38), fourteen third-batch 3000R series sets (numbered 39 to 52), and eight fourth-batch 3000S series sets (numbered 53 to 60).[1]

A fifth-batch 3000 V series six-car set entered service on the line on April 9, 2017, with a total of seven sets scheduled to be introduced by 2022, replacing the earlier 3000A series trainsets.[2]


  • 1000 series 14 x 6-car EMUs (from December 1972 until November 2006)
  • 2000 series 9 x 6-car EMUs (from 1984 until November 2006)


In 1965, construction on Line 1 and Line 3 of the subway began. The subway was inaugurated on September 16, 1972, when the 5.2 km long initial section of Line 1 opened between Kami-Ōoka and Isezakichōjamachi stations. On September 4, 1976, Line 1 was extended in both directions: 2.8 km and 2 stations to the southwest (from Kami-Ōoka to Kaminagaya), and 0.7 km and 1 station to the north (from Isezakichōjamachi to Kannai); the 2.8 km long initial section of Line 3 between Kannai and Yokohama also opened that same day and trains began operating directly between Line 1 and Line 3 at that time.

On March 14, 1985, two extensions opened: a 7.0 km, 5 station extension of Line 3 from Yokohama to Shin-Yokohama, and a 2.0 km, 2 station extension of Line 1 from Kaminagaya to Maioka. Line 1 would be extended by one station to Totsuka (a distance of 1.7 km) on August 27, 1989; a temporary station was in operation at that location from May 24, 1987 until that date. The final 10.9 km section of Line 3 from Shin-Yokohama to Azamino opened on March 18, 1993. The final 7.4 km section of Line 1 from Totsuka to Shōnandai opened on August 28, 1999.

All stations began to include alphanumeric codes "B##" just before the start of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, which occurred at the same time as the subway line's 30th anniversary. Every station was identified by a flag representing each of the countries that competed in the tournament. Beginning July 1, 2003, a women-only car is offered on weekday mornings between 5:20 and 9:00.

On June 15, 2006, the bureau announced that the service connecting Line 1 and Line 3 would be officially named the "Blue Line" in preparation for the opening of a second subway line known as the Green Line.

Platform screen doors began to be installed in all stations in January 2007; this required stopping positions to be changed at some stations, including Odoriba. Azamino became the first station to use those doors in April 2007, and the doors were full usable by September of that year. ATO operation began December 15, 2007. Late night service began to be offered for special events beginning December 31, 2008 (for the New Year's Eve 2009 celebrations) with 6 round trip services per night before being fully implemented in September 2009.

Rapid services began on July 18, 2015; on March 4, 2017, the intervals between rapid trains was decreased from 30 to 20 minutes.[3]

A train celebrating the extensions to Shin-Yokohama and Maioka in March 1985


  1. ^ a b 私鉄車両編成表 2016 [Private Railway Rolling Stock Formations – 2016] (in Japanese). Japan: Kotsu Shimbunsha. July 25, 2016. p. 81. ISBN 978-4-330-70116-5.
  2. ^ 4/9,横浜市交通局3000V形デビュー [April 9: Yokohama Municipal Subway 3000V series debut]. Japan Railfan Magazine (in Japanese). Vol. 57 no. 675. Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. July 2017. p. 155.
  3. ^ 横浜市営地下鉄ブルーラインに快速 7月から [Rapid trains on Yokohama Subway Blue Line from July]. Asahi Shimbun Digital (in Japanese). Japan: The Asahi Shimbun Company. February 12, 2015. Archived from the original on February 11, 2015. Retrieved February 14, 2015.

External linksEdit