Subway First Run

Subway Inspection 2118

Sunday, 13 June 2010 was an historic day for Sumida Crossing. After the track was all cleaned and re-installed, and the wiring completed, it was time for the trains to take a run. The actual first loop was done by a “maintenance of way” train (actually an old Atlas B23 I was willing to sacrifice if I’d made some horrible wiring error). That done, I broke out the East-i E Inspection Train, and had it take a run to check out the pantograph clearance and general track usability. And I recorded it and made a short video:

Actually, I ran the train in a number of short runs, filmed each, backed it up, relocated the camera, and did the next section, but what’s on the video really is the first complete circuit of the rebuilt subway track by a Japanese-prototype train; it just wasn’t a continuous run as it appears on the video. And having proved the track, I broke out the Tōkyō Metro 10000 subway train that will call the subway line its home, and had it do a few laps too (part of the first one is on the video).

Just as in the real world, the subway train will (someday) venture forth onto the Commuter Line, and some of the commuter trains will enter the Subway Line. In the real world, only specialized commuter trains with narrower bodies and front emergency exits typically do so, but I don’t yet have a model of one of those, other than the 10000.

It all went surprisingly well, and I’m very happy with the results. My video won’t give Spielberg any sleepless nights, and I definitely have some mistakes I can learn from, but it does what I wanted and documents this “historic” (for me anyway) event. Plus I got to run trains on my layout through something vaguely resembling scenery. And I ran some more tonight (no video of that, although I did play around with the camera to get more experience with it while I ran them).

I’d started planning this layout about a year ago, began actual construction in late August of 2009, and finally have a working (if still very incomplete) model railroad. Now I’m really motivated to finish the Riverside Station scene (all that pink foam offends me).

Other website updates:
- I added a Phase 2g Construction page describing the wiring work.
- I’ve added some photos to the Construction photo album and put some of them on the Subway scene page.
- I’ve made some updates to my Power Wiring Design and Standards page as a result of changes I made in the course of doing the actual wiring (use of stranded wire instead of solid core, different block numbering scheme).
- And I added a page on non-JR East Shinkansen trains that can be found in Tōkyō.