What we have here are perhaps the last four-axle conventional trams built. The seven trams of the Hankai Electric Tramway 601 series were built in 1996 by the Tokyu Car Corporation. The high-floor bodies were completely new but controls and mechanical components were recycled from older trams. These trams continue to run on the Hankai Tramway’s two lines in Osaka and Sakai.
You Tube video by baltJ
You Tube video by YOOss7
It took awhile but the era of the low-floor tram has firmly taken hold in Japan. Still at the current pace of modernization, conventional trams will probably run in Japan for some time to come.
You tube poster Lupinus2013 provides us with a photo and video survey of the Hankai Electric Tramway fleet.
These trams range from 1928 to 2013.
Eba depot sits at the end of routes 6 and 8. Besides some regular cars Eba depot also houses much of Hiroden’s historic fleet.
You Tube video by nimo5.
Inside Eba depot showing many of the historic trams along with 900s in regular service. You Tube videos by kumokiha.
An interesting look inside a very interesting tram depot.
More videos of the new trams for the Hankai Electric Tramway. Testing continues through May 2013 with 1001. Recently the new tram was open to the public for the first time at the Hankai Tramway festival.
You Tube video by nisiyan1975
Scheduled operation is planned for the fall once testing and operator training has been completed.
Currently the oldest trams in the fleet are the 10 non-air conditioned cars of he 161 series which built in the late 1920s and early 1930s.
You Tube video by mkurashina.
Sapporo City Transportation Bureau low-floor tram A1200 is shown in service May 5, 2013.
You Tube video by M6s24hst.
Trams pulling out of Senda depot in Hiroshima.
You Tube video by nimo5.
In late April and early May Japan celebrates a series of national holidays known as Golden Week. There is a flower festival held in Hiroshima each Golden Week.
During the Flower Festival tram 51 cut down from an old tram operates as a flower tram. The tram is filled with flowers and operated with a two man crew who are accompanied on some trips by the Flower Queen or the Hiroshima Tourism Goodwill Ambassador.
This year tram 51 ran May 3rd, May 4th and May 5th from about 1200 to 1600 hrs.
You Tube video by hadashinokursan, showing 51 enroute to the stub ended terminal at JR Hiroshima station.
You Tube video by mattsu634.
This is a very rare operation. As far as I know car 51 only runs three days per year.
Hiroden staff have been alerted that 906 is using a draw-bar to push 3 section artiuclated 3501 into Eba depot. Hiroden 906, a four axle tram was built in 1957 by Osaka Sharyo for Osaka . After 12 years of service in Osaka, 906 moved onto Hiroshima in 1969 and continues in regular service today.
Here’s video from both sides of the tram!
You Tube video by hhsr618.
You Tube video by orihika4101.
Japan remains home to a surprising number of traditional streetcars. Iyotetsu 59 is one of three streetcars built in 1957 Naniwa Koki and part of a larger group of 19 similar trams.
You Tube video by newkiyose.
The Hankai Tramway in Osaka is affectionately known as the chin chin densha (ding ding train). Densha in Japanese means electric car which can be a tram or a train, usually an EMU either singularly or in a train formation. The Hankai Tramway fleet is old and in need of renew but there are many typically Japanese scenes.
You Tube video by Lupinus2013: