posted on 25th Jun 2021 11:42
On 27 May 2021 the first tram arrived to Utsunomiya, the capital city of Tochigi prefecture in Kantō region (around Tokyo). The city has about half million inhabitants. New trams are destined for the very new tram line under construction, first in the city, which was approved in 2016 and planned to open 2019, but the project got a significant delay and the new target date is March 2023.
New 14.6 km long line will run from east side of Utsunomiya railway station (Utsunomiya-eki higashi-guchi) to Haga-Takanezawa Kougyoudainnchi station in Utsunomiya's east Haga/Takanezawa Industrial Park in Haga-machi. The double track 1,067 mm gauge line will run together with roads in about 9.4 km, remaining part will be on separated track. There will be 19 stops on the line. Maximum service speed is 40 km/h.
The travel time is calculated to be 44 minutes (37 minutes for rapid services). New company Utsunomiya Light Rail Corporation was established through a public-private partnership between Utsunomiya City, Haga Town, the local business community, and transportation companies.
The operator has ordered 17 three-section 29.52 m long, bi-directional articulated Type HU300 trams, built by Niigata Transys. Bogies were supplied by Bombardier. The tram operates off 750 V DC overhead line, its top construction speed is 70 km/h and 67 ‰ of maximum track gradient is permitted. Bodyshell is made off steel with FRP plating. The trams have a width of 2,650 mm and height with pantograph lowered 3,625 mm over rail top. Each tram is equipped with 50 seats and offers space for up to 110 standees.