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Sōbu Line (Rapid) - Narita Line

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Introducing

The Sobu Rapid Line is a 79.2 km long line running east-west between Tokyo Station in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward and Chiba Station in Chiba City, Chiba Prefecture.

The line also operates a direct connection with the Yokosuka Line between Tokyo Station and Kurihama Station in Yokosuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture, and Tokyo Station in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo.

The Sobu Line (Rapid) operates at high speed, stopping only at a limited number of stations, because the Chuo・Sobu Line (Local) run side by side from Kinshicho Station to Chiba Station, which has a large number of stations.

The Sobu Line (Rapid) is also used as an access line between central Tokyo and Narita Airport, an international airport. The Narita Express, a limited express train bound for Narita Airport, runs on the Sobu Line (Rapid), and the Shiosai, a limited express train bound for Choshi, also runs on this line.

Trains bound for Narita Airport depart from Chiba Station via the Sobu Main Line and enter the Narita Line at Sakura Station. The Narita Line connects Sakura Station in Sakura City, Chiba Prefecture, and Matsugishi Station in Choshi City, Chiba Prefecture, via Narita Station. The Narita Line also has branch lines, one connecting Abiko Station in Abiko City, Chiba Prefecture, to Narita Station (commonly known as the Abiko Branch Line) and another connecting Narita Station to Narita Airport (commonly known as the Airport Branch Line).

The Sobu Line (Rapid) DLC can operate the section of the Narita Line from Sakura Station to Narita Airport Terminal 1 Station via Narita Station.

Starting underground in central Tokyo, the line runs at high speed through the suburbs of Tokyo and Chiba Prefecture, and beyond Chiba Station, the line runs through a landscape with a lot of greenery. We hope you will enjoy driving to Narita Airport while feeling the changes in the scenery.

Key data

  • Line Length: 79.2km
  • Number of stations: 19
  • Safety system: ATS-P
  • Train model: E217 series
  • Max speed:
    • Tokyo - Kinshicho : 100km/h
    • Kinshicho - Chiba : 120km/h
    • Chiba - Narita Airport : 110km/h
  • Max speed after signals:
    • Reduced speed (green/yellow): 75 km/h - 65 km/h after Sakura
    • Caution (yellow): 55 km/h - 45 km/h after Sakura
    • Speed restriction (yellow/yellow): 25 km/h
  • Routes:
    • Tokyo ~ Chiba (627F) : "Rapid" - 15 cars - 10 stations - 39.2 km
    • Tokyo ~ Tsudanuma (845F) : "Rapid" - 15 cars - 8 stations - 26.7 km
    • Tokyo ~ Narita Airport Terminal 1 (1217F/4217F @ Chiba) : "Rapid" - 15 cars - 19 stations - 79.2 km

Console details

Above the window are various indicators (requires reframing the cabin to see them).

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Here is the list of indicators:

Top line: 

  • ATC release (ATC開放)
  • ATC
  • Emergency operation (非常運転)
  • ATC power supply (ATC電源)
  • ATC normal (ATC常用)
  • ATC Emergency (ATC非常)
  • ATS-Sn
  • ATS-Sn in operation (ATS-Sn動作)
  • ATS-P indicators

Bottom line :

  • Anti-rolling brakes (動防止ブレーキ)
  • Home position (定位置)
  • Vehicle doors closed (車両ドア全閉)
  • Platform doors closed (ホームドア全閉)
  • Platform doors linkage (ホームドア連携)
  • Platform doors separation (ホームドア分離)
  • Failure (故障)
  • ATS-P Emergency (ATS-P非常)

Then, under the window, is the main part.

image.pngOn the left-hand side, at the top, there are various indicators:

  1. 3-phases (三相)
  2. Emergency short-circuit (非常短絡)
  3. Snow resistant brakes (耐雪ブレーキ)
  4. Safety Brakes (直通予備ブレーキ)
  5. ATS (SN)
  6. ATS (P)
  7. ATC
  8. Side doors (貫通扉)
  9. Cruise control (定速)

Below, on the left, are the brake levels with the emergency brake indicator in red (非常), as well as the brake pressure level (black arrow) and the compressed air reservoir (red arrow).

On the right is the speed dial, emergency stop button (緊急), door-closing light and pocket watch.

On the right-hand side, in addition to the TIMS display, you'll find the train protection radio equipment, the ATS-P power indicator (電源) and a few other buttons.

Consult the MON/TIMS/INTEROS screen page for more details about the MON19 screen. Note that the central section changes presentation from Chiba onwards (horizontal reading -> vertical reading).

Movie

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C5%8Dbu_Line_(Rapid) - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narita_Line#Airport_branch_line 

Driver's guide: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1cjj6jXPrE18X1iZFE582oBjiY84CXFsAY4bVvUQYJbA/edit#gid=206301446  

Timetables (in japanese):