Toden Arakawa Line
8500 series trams passing near Asukayama Station
|Owner||Tokyo Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation (Toei)|
|Line length||12.2 km (7.6 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,372 mm (4 ft 6 in)|
|Electrification||600 V DC overhead catenary|
The Toden Arakawa Line (都電荒川線 Toden Arakawa-sen?) is a streetcar 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?).
All stations are located in Tokyo.
- Both the Tokyo Metro and Toei stations are displayed on station maps as being distant from one another, and are not announced as transfer points for one another.
- 7000 series
- 7700 series (since 31 May 2016)
- 8500 series
- 8800 series
- 8900 series (since 18 September 2015)
- 9000 series
Former rolling stock
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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 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.
- p. 84, Vintage Books edition.
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