Sobu Line Rapid Service and Chuo-Sobu Line Local Service: Tokyo to Nishi-Funabashi by Train

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The Sobu Main Line is a heavily-used line linking Tokyo with Chiba through Ichikawa, Funabashi and Narashino. As such, it’s really popular throughout the day, and even more so during peak hours. Despite this, using the Sobu Line Rapid Service and Chuo-Sobu Line Local Service is the fastest way to get to Nishi-Funabashi from Tokyo, so I braved the Tokyo evening crowd to get there.

The E217 series EMUs on the Sobu Line Rapid Service are formed of 11+4-car sets. However, the frequency is unfortunately rather low for such a heavily-used line at every 3 to 9 minutes only. As such the capacity still isn’t enough for a comfortable journey.

In true Japanese style, I did manage to get on the train in the picture, along with everyone else on the platform. Surviving in it was a different story though, hence I have no photos of my struggle with my nose on the glass door throughout the journey.

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The Sobu Line Rapid Service does not stop at Nishi-Funabashi. As such, I alighted at Ichikawa Station to transfer to the Chuo-Sobu Line Local Service to continue my journey.

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No cross-platform transfers here, those transferring have to go down to the concourse first.

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Heading up to the Chuo-Sobu Line Local Service platforms.

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The rather crowded platform with I’d assume everyone else going to Nishi-Funabashi too.

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Hmm, a passing train?

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I thought it would have been a passing train on the platform line, but nope, it was a freight train on the bypass line.

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And here comes my Chuo-Sobu Line Local train.

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This train is formed by the newly-transferred E231-500 series from the Yamanote Line, formed of 10 cars (Cars 1-9 and 11). The newest Yamanote Line E233-grade Car 10 remains on the Yamanote Line, heavily refurbished and reassigned to be part of the new E235 series sets.

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The interior of the Chuo-Sobu Line E231-500 series at rush hour. Surprisingly, there’s quite a bit of wiggle room.

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The information screen remains as the previous Yamanote Line standard.

My shortworking Chuo-Sobu Line Local trip terminated at Higashi-Funabashi, just nice.

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The benches and interior remains just like on the Yamanote Line too.

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The interior of the train after passengers bound for Akihabara, Shinjuku and Mitata have boarded.

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The information screen almost immediately changes to Mitaka-bound.

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Heading out of the platform.

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Queuing up to use the escalator, which I think this Japanese manners should be used all around the world.

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From here, I headed up to transfer to the Musashino Line to spot and hopefully ride a train which I’ll have a lot more opportunities to ride in future in another land.

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