Hanshin Railway “old-style Jet Cars” – 5101/5201, 5131/5331 and 5001 Serieses

From left to right: 5101/5201 Series (regular steel bodyshell), 5201 Series (prototype stainless steel bodyshell), 5001 Series and 5131/5331 Series.





This is a Reskin. In order for this train to work, you’ll need to download and install first the Hanshin 5101/5103 Series made by Keimei, avaible on the DLS.


5101/5201 Series

These were introduced in 1959 on local services on the Hanshin Main line to replace most of the pre-war and immediately-post-war rolling stock still in service (most of wich were tramway-like vehicles), wich by then was no longer adequate to the requirements of the railway, wich was seeing an huge increase in ridership due to the development of the areas that the line served.

Based on the concept of the 1958 5001 Series prototype, the 5101/5201 Series was built by Hanshin’s Mukogawa Workshops starting in 1959. The bodyshell was based on the well-proven type already used for Hanshin Main Line rapid services, but fetaured several changes, most notably, instead of the “classical” single-leaf commonly found on older stock, the 5101/5201 Series was equipped with three double-leaf doors, of the kind already experimented on the 5001 Series prototype.

By the time production ended, in 1960, a total of 30 cars had been manufactured, formed in 2-car sets (often coupled to form 4-car trains). Performance-wise the 5101/5201 Series was astonishing, with it’s neck-breaking accelleration of 4Km/h per second, cementing the “Jet Car” nickname for Hasnhin’s local service trains; a nickname that was also born with the 5001 Series prototype and persists to this day.

Out of the 15 2-car sets made, one (units 5201-5202) was built as a test bed for stainless steel technology, wich Hanshin was considering to implement for mass production. Depsite successful testing and regular service (often coupled with a “regular steel” 2-car set), the lone stainless steel prototype set remained a single unit, as Hanshin Railway eventually decided to keep using regular steel cars, as it lacked the expertise needed to build stainless steel cars.

As times progressed, the 5101/5201 Series cars became increasingly tired, as a result of the extremely intensive nature of Hanshin Main Line local services. As such, Hanshin Railway decided for an early retirement.
The first set to be removed from service, due to it’s “single-unit status” was the stainless steel prototype, wich was scrapped in 1977. Replaced by the (second-generation) 5001 Series, the remaining “regular” 5101/5201 Series sets were retired one after another, with the last 5101 Series sets running in 1980 and the last 5201 Series sets following suit a year later in 1981.

After their retirements, a few bodyshells of the 5101/5201 Series were sold to the Takamatsu-Kotohira Electric Railway in Shikoku and to the Keifuku Railway Fukui branch (wich would become the Echizen Railway in the early 2000s). Both companies used them to “manufacture” semi-new trains for 1067mm gauge tracks using components such as bogeys and pantographs from other withdrawn trains (such as ex-Toyohasi Railway 1900 Series, themselves ex-Meitetsu 5000 Series trains, in the case of Echizen Railway).

As of now, no 5101/5201 Series set is in operation on Hansin Railway nor their conversion running on third sector railways, wich were retired from the Takamatsu-Kotohira Electric Railway and the Echizen Railway in 2006 and 2014 respectively.


5001 Series (the second-generation one, not the 1958 prototype)

These were introduced in 1977 to replace the last non-standard local service trains on the Hanshin Main Line and the Hasnhin Nishi-Osaka Line (present-day Namba Line) and the increasingly tired 5101/5201 Series on wich they were based.
Still manufactured by the Mukogawa Workshops, a total of 32 cars (sixteen 2-car sets) were manufactured between 1977 and 1981. Later, in 1987, all 5001 Series trains were reformed into 4-car sets, with the now surplus intermediate driving cars converted to straight motor trailer cars.

With the opening of the Hanshin Namba Line in 2009, the 5001 Series trains in service on that line were all moved to the Hanshin Main Line, and at the same time underwent a refurbishment program wich included the renewal of seating and the repairation of damaged components.

As of today, the 5001 Series is still in service and with the retirement of the 5131/5331 Series in 2019, as of now it’s the last representative of Hanshin’s “classic Jet cars”. Surprisingly, all 32 cars are still in service, formed as eight 4-car sets.
Hanshin is planning to replace the 5001 Series with the newer 5700 Series, with the final goal of retiring the 5001 Series in 2023, when the oldest cars will be 46 years old.

5131/5331 Series

Introduced in 1981 to replace the 5231 Series, the 5131/5331 Series was Hanshin Railway’s first “Jet Car” using the Armature Chopper control in place of the old resistor-control system. Hanshin was already familiar with the Chopper control (owning to the success of the 7001/7101 Series of 1970, Japan’s first chopper-controlled train in regular service), but had not yet implemented the novel control system in a widespread manner.
Again, manufactured by the Mukogawa Workshops, a total of 24 cars (formed in twelve 2-car sets) were manufactured between 1981 and 1983. The 5131 Series trains used a Toshiba-made chopper, while the 5331 Series used a Mitsubishi Electric-made one, but nonetheless, their performance was practically matching.

As with their resistor-controlled siblings, the 5001 Series, the 5131/5331 Series were reformed in six 4-car sets in 1987. Due to damages caused by the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake, wich struck Kobe and the neighbouring areas and extensively damaged Hanshin Railway’s infrastructure, a total of four cars of the 5131/5331 Series had to be withdrawn and scrapped. The remaining cars were repaired and reformed into five 4-car sets.

Due to reliability issues with the chopper control (wich requires constant and thorough maintainance and finetuning), Hanshin Railway started considering to retire the 5131/5331 Series in the early 2000s. Replaced by the 5550 Series first, and later, by the 5700 Series, the 5131/5331 Series fleet gradually thinned, with the last set remaining making it’s final run on the 22 of May 2019, leaving the 5001 Series as the sole remaining “classic Jet Car” in operation on Hanshin Railway.