Odakyu Electric Railway

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Odakyu Electric Railway Co., Ltd.
小田急電鉄株式会社
Type Public
Traded as TYO: 9007
Industry Public transport
Predecessor(s) Odawara Express Railway Co., Ltd.
小田原急行鉄道株式会社
Founded Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan (June 1, 1948 (1948-06-01))
Headquarters 1-3-3, Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-8309, Japan
Key people Toshimitsu Yamaki, President & CEO
Revenue ¥154.876 billion (FY2011)
Profit ¥7.930 billion (FY2009)
Employees 3,609 (2012)
Website www.odakyu.jp

Odakyu Electric Railway Co., Ltd. (小田急電鉄株式会社 Odakyū Dentetsu Kabushiki-gaisha?), or OER, is a major railway company based in Tokyo, Japan, best known for its Romancecar series of limited express trains from Tokyo to Odawara, Enoshima, Tama New Town, and Hakone.

The Odakyu Electric Railway forms the core of the Odakyu Group, which comprises 102 companies (as of August 1, 2012) and includes the Enoshima Electric Railway, Hakone Tozan Railway, Odakyu Bus, Odakyu Department Store, and Hyatt Regency Tokyo hotel.

History[edit]

Odakyu 50000 series VSE Romancecar near Shin-Yurigaoka station

The 83 km line from Shinjuku to Odawara opened for service on April 1, 1927. Unlike the Odawara line, rarely were pre-WWII Japanese private railways constructed with double-track and fully electrified from the first day of operation. Two years later, April 1, 1929, the Enoshima Line was added.

The original full name of the railroad was Odawara Express Railway Co., Ltd. (小田原急行鉄道株式会社 Odawara Kyūkō Tetsudō Kabushiki-gaisha?),[1] but this was often shortened to Odawara Kyūkō (Odawara Express). The abbreviation Odakyu was made popular by the title song of the 1929 movie Tokyo Kōshinkyoku and eventually became the official name of the railroad on March 1, 1941.[2]

On May 1, 1942, Odakyu merged with the Tokyo-Yokohama Electric Railway company (now Tokyu Corporation), which controlled all private railway services west and south of Tokyo by the end of World War II. The company regained its independence on June 1, 1948, and it obtained a large amount of Hakone Tozan Railway stocks, instead of separating Keiō Inokashira Line for Keio Corporation. Odakyu restarted Non-stop Limited Express service between Shinjuku and Odawara in 1948. In 1950, Odakyu trains ran through to Hakone-Yumoto on Hakone Tozan Line. Odakyu uses 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) narrow gauge tracks, but the Hakone Tozan Railway is 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge, so one track of the section from Odawara to Hakone-Yumoto (6.1 km) was changed to a dual gauge system. Odakyu operated the first Romancecar (1710 series) limited express in 1951.

After the 1950s, due to rapid Japanese economic growth, Odakyu was faced with an explosive increase of population along with its lines. Commuter passengers had to use very crowded trains every morning, and complained strongly with the delay of improvements from the railway company. Odakyu began construction on the - "Shinjuku Station Great Improvement Project" setting 5 lines and 10 platforms long enough for 10 standard commuter cars with service on the Chiyoda Line, among others. Plans for a four-track system in 1964 were prevented by residents of Setagaya Ward in Tokyo, as such the system remains uncompleted. The Setagaya Residents' opposition set the stage for a long-term and remarkable case in the courts and legislature. Odakyu could not take main part of transport from Tama New Town Area, though Odakyu started the operation of Tama Line in 1974. To serve its Mukōgaoka-Yūen Amusement Park, Odakyu operated the Mukōgaoka-Yūen Monorail Line between Mukōgaoka-Yūen and Mukōgaoka-Yūen-Seimon (1.1 km, 2 stations) beginning in 1966 using a Lockheed Corporationstyle monorail system; the system was closed in 2001 when the amusement park was shut down.

Odakyu 5000 series EMU near Mukōgaoka-Yūen Station

Since 2000, Odakyū has been adding track in both directions from Izumi-Tamagawa Station, on Tama River, the border station of Tokyo, to just outside of Setagaya-Daita Station for expanding the availability of express trains, especially for morning commuter service. The lines between Setagaya-Daita and Higashi-Kitazawa Station are still under construction, however. Odakyu announced that the bottle-neck will be resolved by 2013.

With few exceptions, all of its lines are double- or quadruple-tracked, and its Odawara Line acts as a bypass route for the Tōkaidō Main Line from Tokyo to western Kanagawa. The Romancecar 3000 series "SE" was tested at speeds of up to 145 km/h in 1957, achieving a world record for narrow gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) lines at the time. These tests also provided important data on high-speed electric multiple units (EMU), which Japanese National Railways (JNR) used for its limited express EMUs, 151 series, and 0 Series Shinkansen introduced in the early 1960s.

Odakyu celebrated its 80th anniversary in April 2007. The 50th anniversary of the Romancecar was celebrated in September 2007.

Odakyu are the current shirt sponsors of football club Machida Zelvia.

Lines[edit]

Odakyu owns three railway lines directly, and another three lines via subsidiaries. It also operates trains onto the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line, JR East Jōban Line, and JR Central Gotemba Line.

Line Section Length (km) Stations Date opened
Odawara Line Shinjuku - Odawara 82.5 47 April 1, 1927
Enoshima Line Sagami-Ōno - Katase-Enoshima 27.4 17 April 1, 1929
Tama Line Shin-Yurigaoka - Karakida 10.6 8 June 1, 1974 (in part)
March 27, 1990 (full)
Total 3 lines 120.5 70  
  • Not including the connecting branch between Odawara Line and JR Central Gotemba Line near Shin-Matsuda Station.
  • Many Odakyu Tama Line trains (and selected Odawara Line trains from Hon-Atsugi continue on to the Chiyoda and Jōban lines for Ayase and - Toride stations. This service began in 1978 between Hon-Atsugi and Abiko stations.
  • Some Odakyū trains continue on the Odakyu-owned Hakone Tozan Line to Hakone-Yumoto.
  • Limited express Asagiri trains travel from Shinjuku through on the JR Central Gotemba Line to Numazu Station eight times a day.

Train classification[edit]

(As of March 15, 2008 timetable revision)

Color Classification Japanese Runs between Line(s)
  Limited Express 特急 Shinjuku, Kita-Senju, and Shin-Kiba to Hakone-Yumoto, Katase-Enoshima, Karakida or Numazu Odakyū Odawara, Enoshima, Tama; Hakone Tozan; JR Central Gotemba; and Tokyo Metro Chiyoda and Yūrakuchō lines
  Rapid Express 快速急行 Shinjuku to Fujisawa (one service on weekdays to Katase-Enoshima) or Odawara Odakyū Odawara and Enoshima lines
  Express 急行 Shinjuku to Odawara, Katase-Enoshima or Karakida Odakyū Odawara, Enoshima, and Tama lines
  Tama Express 多摩急行 Toride, Abiko or Ayase and Karakida via Yoyogi-Uehara Odakyū Odawara, Tama; Tokyo Metro Chiyoda, and JR East Jōban lines
  Semi Express 準急 Shinjuku to Hon-Atsugi (Odawara) Odakyū Odawara Line
  Sectional Semi Express 区間準急 Shinjuku to Karakida, Mukogaoka-Yuen or Hon-Atsugi Odakyū Odawara and Tama lines
  Local 各駅停車 in all sections, includes to/from Hakone-Yumoto on Hakone Tozan Line (occasionally between Odawara and Shin-Matsuda) Odakyū Odawara, Enoshima, Tama; and Hakone Tozan lines

Romancecar limited express services require a supplementary surcharge.

Odakyu-linemap

Limited express service[edit]

Shinjuku Station routes[edit]

Commuter service is shown on each line's page.

Station Japanese Distance (km) Super Hakone Hakone Sagami Asagiri Enoshima Homeway Lines
Shinjuku 新宿 - Odakyū Odawara Line
Mukōgaoka-Yūen 向ヶ丘遊園 15.8
Shin-Yurigaoka 新百合ヶ丘 21.5
Machida 町田 30.8
Sagami-Ōno 相模大野 32.3
Hon-Atsugi 本厚木 45.4
Hadano 秦野 61.7
Shin-Matsuda 新松田 71.8
Odawara 小田原 82.5
Hakone-Yumoto 箱根湯本 88.6   Hakone Tozan Line
Yamato 大和 39.9       Odakyū Enoshima Line
Fujisawa 藤沢 55.4      
Katase-Enoshima 片瀬江ノ島 59.9      
Odakyū-Nagayama 小田急永山 28.3         Odakyū Tama Line
Odakyū-Tama-Center 小田急多摩センター 30.6        
Karakida 唐木田 32.1        
Matsuda 松田 71.8           JR Central Gotemba Line
Suruga-Oyama 駿河小山 86.2          
Gotemba 御殿場 97.1          
  • Asagiri trains run on the connecting branch line just before Shin-Matsuda from Shinjuku and stops at Matsuda on the Gotemba Line. Matsuda and Shin-Matsuda are treated as the same station.
  • Homeway trains run from Shinjuku every evening after 18:00. There is no service to Shinjuku.

Tokyo Metro routes[edit]

Commuter service is shown on each line's page.

Station Japanese Distance (km) Metro Homeway Metro Hakone Metro Sagami Bay Resort Lines
Shin-Kiba 新木場         Tokyo Metro Yūrakuchō Line
Toyosu 豊洲        
Kita-Senju 北千住 0.0 Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line
Ōtemachi 大手町 9.9
Kasumigaseki 霞ヶ関 12.1
Omotesandō 表参道 16.2
Yoyogi-Uehara 代々木上原 19.3 * * * *
Odakyū Odawara Line
Seijōgakuen-Mae 成城学園前 27.4
Shin-Yurigaoka 新百合ヶ丘 37.3
Machida 町田 46.6
Hon-Atsugi 本厚木 61.2
Odawara 小田原 98.3    
Hakone Tozan Line
Hakone-Yumoto 箱根湯本 104.4    
Odakyū-Nagayama 小田急永山 44.1       Odakyū Tama Line
Odakyū-Tama-Center 小田急多摩センター 46.4      
Karakida 唐木田 47.9      
  • At Yoyogi-Uehara, all trains pause, but there is no service for passengers; Odakyū and Tokyo Metro change their operating staff at the station.
  • On weekday mornings, Metro Sagami trains run once from Hon-Atsugi to Kita-Senju.
  • On weekday evenings, Metro Homeway trains run twice from Hon-Atsugi to Kita-Senju and once from Ōtemachi to Hon-Atsugi.
  • On weekends and holidays, Metro Hakone trains run between Kita-Senju and Hakone-Yumoto four times; Metro Sagami (once in the morning) and Metro Homeway (once in the evening) trains also run between Kita-Senju and Hon-Atsugi.
  • Once or twice per month, Metro Sagami and Metro Homeway become Bay Resort trains, traveling between Shin-Kiba and Hon-Atsugi. They travel to/from the Tokyo Metro Yūrakuchō and Chiyoda lines.

Legend[edit]

Symbol Definition
all trains stop
some trains stop
all trains pass
trains do not travel through this section

Rolling stock[edit]

Romancecar sets[edit]

Commuter sets[edit]

Odakyu Electric Railway in media[edit]

The Odakyu Railway has been included in several Japanese language train simulator programs as well as the English language Microsoft Train Simulator program. Microsoft Train Simulator includes the railway's Odawara and Hakone Tozan lines, collectively referred to as the "Tokyo-Hakone" route. You can drive two of the trains that travel on the line; the 2000 series commuter trainset and the 7000 series "LSE" Romancecar trainset. Several "activities", or scenarios, are included.

Various Odakyu add-ins are available for the BVE Train Simulator, a freeware cab view train simulator for Microsoft Windows.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ubukata, Yoshio and Morokawa, Hisashi (1988). Odakyu – Color Books No. 768 (in Japanese). Osaka: Hoikusha. p. 148. 
  2. ^ Seidensticker, Edward (1990). Tokyo Rising : the city since the great earthquake. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. ISBN 0-394-54360-2

Bibliography[edit]

  • Lee, A. (2011). Tokyo commute : Japanese customs and way of life viewed from the Odakyu Line. Folkestone, Kent: Renaissance Books.

External links[edit]