[as of 2018 ]
Incorporated as city: 1879
Population: 372 710 (03.2015)
Operator: Toyohashi Railroad (Toyotetsu)
Gauge: 1067 mm
Track length: 9,4 km. (one-way)
Number of passenger vehicles: 17
The second smallest tramway system in Japan, with track length only 700 m. longer than the Okayama system. The central Toyohashi looks rather dull, but outside of the city center the tram lines run amid attractive single-storey cityscape.
The Toyohashi system consists of the main line that originates at the JR station and splits at the far end into two branches, only 700 m. long each. While the main line is almost entirely double track, both branches are single track. Curiously, the last 500 m. of the main line right before the split, between the Keirinjo mae and Ihara stops, is also single track making the entire operation somewhat tight schedule-wise. There is a dispatch facility and two storage tracks that can accommodate two cars at the Keirinjo mae station, where the double track ends. At least one spare car is always parked here during the day. This is also the point where crews change on passing cars. Service alternates between each of the two branches. Some sources site the third service operating between the JR station and Keirinjo mae, within the double track segment of the system. However, in 11.2017 it was no longer operated. On the main line trams operate every 7-8 minutes daily, every 5 minutes for short periods around 7-8:00 and 16-17:00 on weekdays. The above intervals double for each of the two branches.
The Toyohashi tram system is notable for perhaps the worst track condition in Japan, as well as horrible state of intertrack surface pavement. This however has no effect on the speed of trams due to low 30 km/h innercity speed limit applied in Japanese cities. At the same time the tramway right-of-way is never used by automobiles.
The depot is located at the Akaiwaguchi Terminal at the end of the eastern branch.
Nippon Sharyō : 7 cars  ex-Gifu (2005)
801 Nippon Sharyō : 1 car  ex-Gifu (2005) partial low-floor
1001 Alna Kōki : 1 car  Low Floor
3102 Niigata : 1 car  ex-Nagoya (1971)
3200 class Nippon Sharyō : 3 cars  ex-Gifu
3500 class Hitachi : 1 car  + Nippon Sharyō : 3 cars  ex-Tokyo
There are 17 cars on the property. The 4 ex-Tokyo cars of the 3500 series and the 7 ex-Gifu cars of the 780 series constitute a backbone of the service. Even though the Tokyo cars were built in 1955/56 they now have somewhat modern features. The 1997-built cars of the 780 series were acquired from the neighboring city of Gifu when the tram system there closed in 2005. The are only two cars with a low floor option: the 2000-built semi-low floor ex-Gifu 801 and the 2008-built 100% low-floor double-articulated car 1001 of the 'Little Dancer' design. One low floor car only is scheduled to operate on regular basis, servicing the eastern Akaiwaguchi branch only, daily every 50-56 minutes. It is mostly operated with car 1001, while 801 is usually on a standby. The Undokoen mae branch has no low floor service. There are 4 'old' unrebuilt cars. The 1943 ex-Nagoya car 3102 is stored at the depot in moderately dilapidated condition. Out of the three 1955-built ex-Gifu cars of the 3200 series, cars 3201 & 3202 are available for service. One of these cars operates on a designated daily heritage schedule in revenue service, however, it is difficult to single it out in the timetable without knowledge of the Japanese language. In 11.2017 on weekends the 9:58 am run out of the JR station was a heritage run. Add/subtract 54 minutes for a full-day schedule. Both older cars could hypothetically appear in service, but Toyohashi runs a small rolling stock surplus and such scenario is unlikely. Car 3203 is converted into a dining car, however due to longitudinal seating there are no alterations to the original car design except for the addition of a car-length-long table.
© 2002 Author: Yury Maller - Usage of material found herein for public display is possible with authors' permission only.