Electric Railways in Japan>
LRT in Toyama (2)Portram and Toyama City Line
New LRV of Portram
Portram is a first
@ In 2004, Japanese Trolley Fan was surprised because City of toyama announced that they will converted JR Toyama port line(regional rail line) to LRT lines without notice. Although JR east announced that they are started to study LRT as a method of regional rail lines vitalization early 2000's. But this news was a real bolt out of the blue.
   Toyama light rail opened in the spring 2006, it mainly uses former JR Toyama port line but it has new street trackage near JR Toyama station. In 2016 will extend Toyama CBD district and connected Toyama city line, traditional trolley line in Toyama city.
   Here I'll show you both lines with some maps and pictures.

1.Map of Rail Line in Toyama
2.Toyama Light Rail(Portram)
3. Toyama city line
4. Related Links

1.Map of Rail Line in Toyama

Map of Toyama

2.Toyama Light Rail (Portram)
Line :Toyamaeki-kitaguti (Toyama Station North)-Iwasehama(Near Toyama port) 7.6km
Open:April 29, 2006 (ex-Toyama port line opened 1924)

Number of cars: 7 car set(Each car set consist two cars and entire length is 18m)
About the car: TLR0600 series
                  Constructed by Nigata Transys Co. ltd. using Bombardier licence.
History: In Tomiiwa Railway built from Toyamaguchi(about 1km apart from Toyama station) to Iwasehama in1924. In 1927 line extended Toyama station. Line was bought by national government in 1943. In 1967 voltage changed from DC600V to DC1500V for using standard electric car of Japan national railway. Until this time Toyama Port line used 600V electric car which once ownded by Tsurumi-rinkou railway (Today's JR East Tsurumi line.), Nambu railway(Today's JR East Nambu-line.) and Ube Railway(Today's JR West Ube line). In 1969, Hokuriku main line electirified by AC20000V, but Toyama port line continued using DC. Though Toyama port line was in relatively high density area, passenger dropped eveery year because of motilization. To revitaized this line, JR-West and City of Toyama proposed to convert this line to LRT. JR Toyama port line suspended March 1 2006. 2 monthes intermission needed to construction.  New LRT line opend April 29.
Map of Portram and Toyama city line

<Photo No1>Toyama Kitaguti Stop (Toyama Station North)-map(1)

<Photo No2>Near Toyama Kitaguchi stop-map(1)
Street trackage of portlam is single track.

<Photo No3>Street Trakage near Intex head office stop-map(2)

<Photo No4>Intex head office stop-map(2)
Stop has platform each side of single track because of one-man operation.

<Photo No5>Near Okuda chugakkou mae(Okuda Junior high school)-map(3)
Hanging trolley wire with high tension, it had relative few support wire.
String of automobiles are waiting signals.

<Photo No6>Near Okuda chugakkou mae(Okuda Junior high school) stop-map(3)

<Photo No7>Near Okuda chugakkou mae(Okuda Junior high school) stop-map(3)
Other side of photo No.6.

<Photo No8>Shirokawahara stop - map(4)
Building of the left side is carhouse.

<Photo No9>Iwasehama Stop-map(5)

<Photo No10>Iwasehama Stop-map(5)
Canging bus and Portram is very convenient.
Bus service has built up to increase convenience.

<Photo No10>Iwasehama downtoen-map(6)
We can enjoy traditional downtown.
   What can enabled Portram? LRT conversion needs 5billion yen(40million dollar).  It is not too much but it is difficult for such local line to finance.  In fact Portlam had some formula for financing. It can uses subsidy for Toyama station improvement to promote Hokuriku Shinkansen construction. It also uses subsidy for LRT founded in 2005. JR West donated 1 billion yen in compensation for resignation of Toyama port line. Portram is appreciated by public transportation activist because of these policy.

3. Toyama city line
  Toyama city line is traditional trolley line operated by Toyama regional railway company. It opened in 1914 by Toyama electric railway. It is the first electric street line in hokuriku area. In 1921 Toyama municipal government acquire Toyama electric railway. Toyama city extended the line, and 1936 it operated 10.8 km trolley line. But municipal railway era was not long. In 1943 municipal railway took over by Toyama regional railway.
  Golden age of street railway is between 1920's and 1960's. After 1960's number of passenger decreased because of moterlization. After 1960's part of line abandanded. Today, 6.4km line is in operation.
Line :Kyujyomae(Baseball stadium)-Toyama ekimae(Toyama station)-Minami Toyama(South Toyama) 6.4km

Car:7000 series(12car constructed between 1957-1965)
      8000series(VVVF 5cars constructed in 1993)
<Photo No11>Toyama ekimae- map(7)
700 series car

<Photo No12>Toyama ekimae- map(7)
8000series car

<Photo No13>Aramachi, central district of Toyama city. map(8)
But when I walked around here I felt there are lifeless. Some building is vacant and big parking lot  occupies in stead of office building. I remembered Los Angels unrenovated downtown area where I visited last year. Toyama prefecture and Toyama city is the one of the most motilized city in Japan and most of shopping center located suburban area.

4. Related Links
Toyama "Tram-Train" Streetcar Line is "Model" for Japan's Light Rail Revival
of LightRailNow(English)

Toyama City Govenment Official Website

Portram Moving Picture of You Tube

<History of this page>
October 9, 2006 First edition.

Electric Railways in Japan>LRT in Toyama (2)Portram and Toyama City Line