Toden Arakawa Line
The Toden Arakawa Line (都電荒川線 Toden Arakawa-sen), branded as the Tokyo Sakura Tram (東京さくらトラム Tōkyō Sakura Toramu), is a hybrid light rail/tram line in Tokyo, Japan, operated by the Tokyo Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation (Toei). The Arakawa Line is the sole survivor of Tokyo's once-extensive Tokyo Toden streetcar system, but it is not the only tram line in Tokyo, as the privately owned Tokyu Setagaya Line is also classified as a streetcar (路面電車 romen densha).
|Toden Arakawa Line|
A Toei 8800 series tram at Arakawa-shakomae in September 2014
|Other name(s)||Tokyo Sakura Tram|
|Type||Light rail and streetcar|
|Owner||Tokyo Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation (Toei)|
|Line length||12.2 km (7.6 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,372 mm (4 ft 6 in) Scotch Gauge|
|Electrification||600 V DC overhead catenary|
All stations are located in Tokyo.
- 7700 series (since 31 May 2016)
- 8500 series
- 8800 series
- 8900 series (since 18 September 2015)
- 9000 series
Former rolling stockEdit
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The line was originally constructed by the Oji Electric Tram Company (王子電気軌道 Ōji-denki-kidō) as a part of their extensive network, with the oldest section still operating today opened in 1913. The line was at threat of being shut down along with the rest of Tokyo's streetcar system in the 1960s, but concerted opposition from residents prevented this and parts of lines 27 (Minowabashi-Akabane) and 32 (Arakawa-Waseda) were merged to form the line as it is today. The line was sold to the Tokyo Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation in 1974, which renamed it the Toden Arakawa Line.
The Toden Arakawa Line operates between the terminals at Minowabashi Station and Waseda Station. It runs along Meiji Street between Asuka-yama Station and Oji Eki-mae Station. Otherwise, it operates on its own tracks. Presently, single driver-operated cars make the 12.2 km trip in 50 minutes. The gauge is 1,372 mm (4 ft 6 in). The line is fully double-track, and draws 600 V electrical supply.
Two Toden Arakawa trams (one in revenue service, the other undergoing brake testing) collided on June 13, 2006 near the Minowabashi terminus, injuring 27 people.
The Toden Arakawa Line operates in northern and eastern Tokyo outside the main tourist areas. The terminus at Minowabashi is near the historical site of Edo's red-light district Yoshiwara which features a completely covered shopping street, several blocks long, in the once common "Ameyoko" style (a shōtengai).
In Haruki Murakami's novel Norwegian Wood, protagonist Toru Watanabe takes the line to near Ōtsuka Station: "I sat in the last seat and watched the ancient houses passing close to the window. The tram almost touched the overhanging eaves.... The tram snaked its way through this private back-alley world." 
L.W. Demery, R. Forty, R. DeGroote and J.W. Higgins, Electric Railways of Japan (Interurbans- Tramways-Metros) Vol.1: Tokyo and Northern Japan. Light Rail Transit Association, 1983.
- 都電荒川線の愛称を決定しました！ (in Japanese). Japan: Tokyo Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation. Retrieved 30 April 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- 都電荒川線で7701号車が営業運転を開始 [Car 7701 enters service on Toden Arakawa Line]. Japan Railfan Magazine Online (in Japanese). Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. 31 May 2016. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
- 都電荒川線で8900形が営業運転を開始 [8900 series enter service on Toden Arakawa Line]. Japan Railfan Magazine Online (in Japanese). Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. 19 September 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
- さようなら都電荒川線7000形 60年余の運行の歴史に幕 [farewell to Toden Arakawa Line 7000 series - closing the curtain on 60 years of service]. Nifty News (in Japanese). Japan: Nifty Corporation. 12 June 2017. Archived from the original on 12 June 2017. Retrieved 12 June 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- p. 84, Vintage Books edition.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Toden Arakawa Line.|
- Tokyo Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation: Toden Arakawa Line (in Japanese)
- Toei Streetcar (Toden) Arakawa Line (in English)