Kyoto Municipal Transportation Bureau 10 Series



All the necessary dependencies are either included in this package or are avaible on the DLS.


These were introduced by the Kyoto Municipal Transportation Bureau in 1981 for services on the soon-to-be opened Karasuma Line, Kyoto’s first subway line. The designing of these trains, classified as the “10 Series”, actually began in the (very) late 1970s and was primarily influenced by the TRTA 8000 Series for the Hanzomon Line, then Tokyo’s newest subway train, wich was being designed and built at around the same time.


The most notable influence coming from the 8000 Series is the angled, asymmetrical and convex front design incorporating an emergency “drawbridge-like” exit, something wich was relatively common in Tokyo (as it was already used on TRTA’s 6000 and 7000 Serieses) but almost unheard of in the Kansai region, thus making the 10 Series the first subway train with an angled front in service there. Another influence was in the bodyshell design, wich was made out of aluminum.


As these trains were planned to have inter-running services on Kintetsu Railway’s network from the beginning, numerous influences of the latter can also be found on the 10 Series as well – most notably the two top-mounted headlights and the two “towards-the-bottom” tail lights, wich also double as service indicators, both having been a staple of Kintetsu’s commuter trains since the early 1960s (and in some form still are today!), and of course, as the Karasuma Line had to be compatible with Kintetsu’s network*, the 10 Series had to be built for the 1435mm standard gauge.


Finally, taking advantage of the aluminium bodyshell, the trains were left mostly unpainted, except for side horizontal lines on top of the passenger windows and doors and a vertical band on the front, wich encompassed the front emergency door, both being painted in the Karasuma Line’s blueish-green color (wich was inspired by the tonality of green then in use on the busses operated by the Kyoto Municipal Transporation Bureau itself). The same green color was also used to paint the front unit numbers and the small logos of the transportation bureau found on the sides of the cars, below the central passenger windows.


Kinki Sharyo (a manufacturer owned by Kintetsu Railway itself) was contracted to build the bodyhsells and other “mechanical” components such as bogeys or pantographs, while Hitachi was contracted to make the “electrical components”, such as the traction motors and a modern armature chopper control system (again derived from the one used by the TRTA 8000 Series), wich would then be shipped to Kinki Sharyo for the final completion of the trains.


Production of the 10 Series lasted from 1981 to 1997 and was subdivided into six batches:

The first batch included nine 4-car sets built in late 1980 and completed in early 1981, on time for the opening of the first section of the Karasuma Line, between Kyoto and Kitaoji stations, on the 1st of April 1981.


The second batch was delivered in 1988 and consisted of 18 trailer cars used to lenghten the existing nine 4-car sets to 6-car sets between may and september in time for the opening of the long-awaited Karasuma Line extension to Takeda and commencment of trough-services with Kintetsu, wich began on the 4th of November 1988.


The third batch was also delivered in 1988 and consisted of five 6-car sets, delivered as well for the commencment of trough-services with Kintetsu Railway.

For this batch, the design of the 10 Series was extensively modified, with numerous changes being made (primarily to simplify production), most notably in the front, where the “TRTA 8000 Series-style” convex front design was changed to a simpler and cheaper concave front and a window was added to the emergency door to ehnance the driver’s visibility of the line ahead. Other minor modifications were made with the side passenger windows, with their corners being changed from 90° square ones to more modern round ones and in the interiors, with a slight modifications to the gangway doors and windows and to the vents of the passenger compartment’s ventilation and air conditioning system. All subsequent batches have been built to the 3rd batch’s specifications.


The fourth batch consists of a single 6-car sets delivered in october 1990 for the 1-stop northwards extension of the Karasuma Line from Kitaoji to Kitayama, and was followed two years later in august 1993 by the fifth batch, wich consisted of two more 6-car sets intended to increase the line’s overall capacity.


The final batch of the 10 Series was built between April and May 1997 and consisted of three 6-car sets delivered for the Karasuma Line’s final norhtwards extension from Kitayama to Kokusaikaikan, the current northern terminus, wich primarily serves Kyoto City’s International Conference Centrer, wich shortly after the opening of the line’s extension, in December 1997, hosted the signing of the very important Kyoto Protocol.

The 6th batch 10 Series trains bear the distinction of being the last chopper-controlled trains ordered by a railway company, a tie-in with the 8th batch Toei 10-000 Series for the Shinjuku Line, wich had been ordered in 1997 as well (these however are generally regarded as the “winners” of the title, having entered service in December 1997 compared to April-May for the 10 Series).

The reason for this was a purely technical one: the design changes made from the 3rd batch onwards only applied to the exterior and bodyshell design, while the traction control and most other technical equipment was left exactly the same, in order to simplify and to reduce the costs of the trains’ maintainance. This however had somewheat of a paradox “side effect”, as the transportation bureau had to continue purchasing armature chopper-control trains even when the more advanced VVVF inverters had become already commonplace.


In the end, by late 1997, when the final 10 Series batch had entered service, the Karasuma Line was served by a total of twenty 6-car sets, all assigned at Takeda depot (adjacent to Takeda station). These were also supplemented by the six 3200 Series 6-car sets owned by Kintetsu Railway specially designed for inter-running services.


Thruought the years, several modifications were made to the 10 Series trains: the motor generators of the 1st and 2nd batch trains were replaced with static inverters and between 2017 and 2020 the destination indicators and interior lighting on some “later”-style trains were changed to LEDs. However, the most extensive modification came between 2015 and 2016, when four sets from batches 3, 4 and 6 were converted from the obsolete armature chopper control to an up-to-date IGBT-VVVF inverter with SiC components, manufactured by Hitachi, wich also supplied the necessary three-phase AC motors. A fifth set, no.20 from the 6th batch was also scheduled to undergo the same modification in 2020.


As of today, all twenty 10 Series sets are still in service, either running as Karasuma Line-only trains from Kokusaikaikan to Takeda station or as inter-running trains on the Kintetsu Kyoto and Nara Lines from Kokusaikaikan via Takada (where a Kintetsu crew replaces the Transportation bureau’s one) and Yamato Saidaiji to Kintetsu-Nara and vice-versa.


However, these trains are all atleast 25 years old, and with the 1st batch trains having surpassed the 40 years in service mark a week ago (at the time of writing), a replacement is soon to come: the transportation bureau has already announced plans to replace the 1st and 2nd batches with a new design (wich, as far as renders go, bears a striking resemblance to the Tokyo Metro 16000 Series) planned to be built by Kinki Sharyo and introduced this year, in 2021. However, nothing new has come out as of today.

Furthemore, no mention of a replacement for the trains of batches 3 to 6 was made so, taking also into account the fact that the transportation bureau’s finances are (as with many other municipally-owned transportation operators) quite strecthced, we could safely assume that these will probably run on the Karasuma Line for a few decades more.


*While Kintetsu does have both 1067mm and 1435mm networks (and formerly some 762mm lines as well!), the Karasuma Line was planned to connect with the Kyoto Line, wich is part of the 1435mm gauge network.